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Faulty thought on tenure, faculty

The two letters on tenure in the December/00 issue inspire two responses:

The purpose of tenure is not only to protect professors from arbitrary administrators but also to protect them from their colleagues. Only those unfamiliar with academic politics and the internecine warfare in departments could think that professors can very often be trusted to deal "sensitively" with others who differ, the old against the young, the adherents of one dogma against the adherents of another.

Both letters use the word "faculty" to refer to individual professors. The only proper use of the term is to refer to the whole body of professors in a college or a department or school. The fact that this is a lost cause should not deter the University of Chicago from persisting in the proper use of the term. This is one of the few means of preserving the sense of a single responsible body.

John W. Dixon Jr., PhD'53
Chapel Hill, North Carolina


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  FEBRUARY 2001

  > > Volume 93, Number 3


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