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Tenure was designed to prevent the dismissal of educators by arbitrary or capricious actions of educational officials. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge tenure does not guarantee lifetime employment. Rather, tenure provides procedural due process when faculty members with property interests in their jobs, either in the form of tenure or set amounts of time remaining on contracts, face the threat of dismissal from their jobs for cause. When faculty members are subject to dismissal for cause, the disputes often result in litigation, with a few high-profile cases garnering much media attention.

The concept of tenure has a long history representing efforts to protect educators from job insecurity resulting from reactions to their teaching, speaking at conferences, or published works. This entry reviews ...

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