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authorSean Whitton <spwhitton@spwhitton.name>2017-04-02 18:05:21 -0700
committerSean Whitton <spwhitton@spwhitton.name>2017-04-02 18:05:21 -0700
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+[[!meta title="A different reason there are so few tenure-track jobs in philosophy"]]
+
+Recently I heard a different reason suggested as to why there are
+fewer and fewer tenure-track jobs in philosophy. University
+administrators are taking control of the tenure review process;
+previously departments made decisions and the administrators
+rubber-stamped them. The result of this is that it is easier to get
+tenure. This is because university administrators grant tenure based
+on quantitively-measurable achievements, rather than a qualitative
+assessment of the candidate qua philosopher. If a department thought
+that someone shouldn't get tenure, the administration might turn
+around and say that they are going to grant it because the candidate
+has fulfilled such-and-such requirements.
+
+Since it is easier to get tenure, hiring someone at the assistant
+professor level is much riskier for a philosophy department: they have
+to assume the candidate will get tenure. So the pre-tenure phase is
+no longer a probationary period. That is being pushed onto post-docs
+and graduate students. This results in the intellectual maturity of
+published work going down.
+
+There are various assumptions in the above that could be questioned,
+but what's interesting is that it takes a lot of the blame for the
+current situation off the shoulders of faculty members (there have
+been accusations that they are not doing enough). If tenure-track
+hires are a bigger risk for the quality of the academic philosophers
+who end up with permanent jobs, it is good that they are averse to
+that risk.