Science & Tech

New generation of faculty members sets new priorities

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Tenure sometimes not as important as location, work balance, salary

Although doctoral candidates and new faculty still regard tenure as important when seeking employment, they will consider non-tenure over tenure-track positions if jobs meet other conditions, including desirable geographic location, balance of research and teaching, and competitive salary. “This generation of scholars is very different from previous cohorts,” says researcher Cathy Trower. “They entered academe in a tight labor market with fewer tenured and tenure-track positions in many disciplines, most especially in the social sciences and humanities. In other disciplines such as computer science, engineering, and business, scholars have an enormous outside market for jobs. The openness that younger scholars show toward considering non-tenure options reflects, in part, their experience of a dramatically changed work environment but also their values.”