The Wayback Machine x2: Declining State Support and the Dwindling of the Tenure-Track Faculty
By Steve Newman
For this issue, I have selected two items for The Wayback Machine. The first, from April 11, 1995, speaks to my editorial on declining state funding; it attests to the deep roots and long history of this problem, and it is depressing to consider that if adjusted for inflation, the $146 million we’re likely to receive this year is 35% less than the inflation-adjusted amount we received in 1995. And our budget and student population has by no means decreased since that time.
Another profound change over the past few decades is the decline in the percentage of tenure-track faculty and concomitant rise in the percentage of full-time non-tenure-track faculty. It is good news that Provost Dai has, as reported in my interview, directed the Deans to offer 60% of these valuable colleagues the multi-year contracts they have long deserved and TAUP has long argued for. But even if this mandate is realized, there is no denying that the decrease in the percentage of tenure-track faculty has meant an overall decrease in faculty compensation, benefits, job security, shared governance, and even perhaps academic freedom. It is for this reason that the Faculty Senate in the Fall of 1999 passed a resolution on the need to increase tenure-track hiring, and Marina Angel contributed a column outlining her concerns on this issue. I wonder what all of our faculty—tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time—think about this situation now and what should be done about it. I invite them to send letters on this (or any other Temple-related topic) to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.