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Faculty in American Higher Education

The typical model of faculty employment that existed in the mid-20th century was of full-time faculty being employed in an environment in which faculty were hired into tenure-track positions as assistant professors and then in their sixth year faced an “up or out” decision in which their suitability for a tenured appointment would be considered. If granted tenure, a faculty member had considerable protection from dismissal. While the financial situation of the institution as a whole could lead to the loss of a tenured faculty member’s position, tenured faculty members’ positions were secure employment positions up until the age of mandatory retirement, which in many states and at most private academic institutions was 65 years. Tenured faculty members could be dismissed for cause if they ...

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