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Jun 08

The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For

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Parents and taxpayers shouldn't get overheated about faculty salaries: tenure is where they should concentrate their anger. The jobs-for-life entitlement that comes with an ivory tower position is at the heart of so many problems with higher education today. Veteran journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley, an alumna of one of the country's most expensive and best-endowed schools, explores how tenure has promoted a class system in higher education, leaving contingent faculty who are barely making minimum wage and have no time for students to teach large swaths of the under- graduate population. She shows how the institution of tenure forces junior professors to keep their mouths shut for a decade or more if they disagree with senior faculty about anything from politics to research methods. And she examines how the institution of tenure – with the job security, mediocre salaries and low levels of accountability it entails – may be attracting the least innovative and interesting members of our society into teaching.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values. Until recently, she was the deputy Taste editor of the Wall Street Journal, where she covered religion, higher education and philanthropy for the editorial page. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, she previously authored God on the Quad: How Religious Colleges and the Missionary Generation Are Changing America and she was the winner of the 2006 American Academy of Religion’s Newswriting Contest for Opinion Writing.

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Naomi Schaefer Riley
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