Digital Tenure

We love the idea of Digital Tenure.  Writing for electronic publishing should, and must, be considered in matters of awarding faculty tenure at traditional universities.

Data is becoming a first-class object.
In the days of completely paper publication, the article or book was
the end of the line. And once the book was in libraries, the data were
often thrown away or allowed to deteriorate.

Now we’re
in a massive shift. Data become resources. They are no longer just a
byproduct of research. And that changes the nature of publishing, how
we think about what we do, and how we educate our graduate students.
The accumulation of that data should be considered a scholarly act as
well as the publication that comes out of it.

an assistant professor who has five years of field data. If she could
combine that with five years of data on children from a researcher in
another country, or another ethnic group or DNA strain, think of how
much more powerful their work could be. We can bring these together and
make comparisons on a large scale — these are things we couldn’t do

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Fired for Myth Telling

Adjunct instructor Steven Bitterman was fired for suggesting a Bible story could be read as a myth:

Bitterman was on his way to teach a course in Western civilization at
Southwestern Community College last fall when his car slipped off the
road. By the time he got back on the road, Mr. Bitterman’s clothes were
muddy, so he returned home to clean up. That’s where he got a telephone
call from one of the college’s vice presidents, saying he had been

Three students, the vice president told Mr.
Bitterman, were offended because he had told his class that people
could more easily appreciate the biblical story of Adam and Eve if they
considered it a myth.

“She said the students and their
parents had threatened to sue the school, and sue me, and she said: ‘We
don’t want that to happen, do we?'” said Mr. Bitterman, who had been an
adjunct professor at the Iowa college since 2001. “She told me I was
supposed to teach history, not religion, and that my services would no
longer be needed.”

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Respecting Adjunct Faculty

We have lived lives of being unappreciated part-time faculty members and we support the American Association of University Professors and their want to bring adjunct faculty up to a higher level of respect and standing in universities:

48 percent of American faculty serve in part-time appointments, and
non-tenure-track positions of all types account for 68 percent of
faculty appointments. Year after year, the problem gets worse as more
and more faculty jobs are part time or non-tenure track. Faculty
holding these appointments are often poorly compensated–receiving low
wages and few, if any, fringe benefits. Without job security and
academic freedom protections, they are subject to administrative whim.
Students suffer when the majority of faculty are inadequately supported
by their institutions.

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Why Do Unions Murder Their Young?

When we do not understand the cause in our human lives, we can look to the Animal Kingdom for clues, insight and an explanation of human nature in the driving, evolutionary, animalistic and ruthless behavior, that is evident in the preservation of the individual being in purpose and want. 

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Why Adjuncts Matter

The unfortunate universal history of American university education is — on the undergraduate level at least — students remain a bit dumber than their instructors from generation to generation. I include my early undergraduate experience in that wash.

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