Denial of Tenure is Not the End of the World

The professorial and pre-professorial blogosphere rambles on a good bit about the tenure process. It is one of the greatest anxieties of the career-- after one has acquired the first appointment as an assistant professor. Universities and colleges use fear of being denied tenure to motivate high levels of performance in the first six years of the career and most fresh-faced Assistant Professors respond. Receiving a tenure denial seems like a complete and utter failure. It is not.


I want to revisit the life and times of one of my favorite ScienceBlogs for my readers, many of which I assume are not familiar with Galactic Interactions. Rob Knop's blog was one of my go-to reads during the yearlong period in which I was a mere reader of the Sb offerings. He talked about academic careers, funding woes, junior faculty problems, gender bias in physics.... and got in some epic battles with Sciblings. I'm sure you can deduce my interest.
Rob stopped blogging here at ScienceBlogs in December of 2007 but the overlords saw fit to maintain the archive, if you know the sekrit address! Go Read.
It was about a year ago that Rob anticipated what he saw as a probable denial of tenure from his Assistant Professorship and accepted a new non-academic job.
As I noted at the time,

The details of Rob's case don't really matter. One can always debate quality and supply/demand and all that crap. We've all seen people in this exact situation, regardless of academic specialty or department and heard all the arguments. And we all know at some level that competition is a GoodThing and that the tenure bar is Meaningful and all that. Phoo. His blog shows he Gives a Crap about things, I'm therefore inclined to believe he's a decent professor in my book. He's going to move onto a new job where they actually appreciate him and five years from now he's going to tell all comers that this was the best thing that ever happened to him. All true, I've seen this over and over again in such decisions.

Well I thought I'd check in with Rob's new blog, and what do you know, he has some thoughts on his first anniversary of the new job.

Do I miss it? The answer is an emphatic yes, and an emphatic no.

They are mixed feelings, for sure, but keep in mind that Rob always sounded like a heart-on-sleeve type, very self-reflective. First, the bad:

Most of all, though, I really miss the teaching and the interacting with students. ... I really love the basics of Physics and Astronomy, and while research and pushing the frontiers was a love of mine, it paled compared to how much I loved re-exploring it and helping others discover it. I am sad, and wistful, that a couple of years ago when I was interviewing at small liberal-arts colleges, I didn't get an offer ... I still understand that my true calling is to be teaching physics and astronomy to motivated and interested students at the college level.

And that IS sad. A loss for the Academy, as I put it. That avenue, however, is never completely closed. Tenure track faculty, perhaps. But chances to adjunct instruct, teach for those much-despised online universities and heck, blog about science abound. So there are mediating factors.
Next the good:

Well, I'll tell you this much: I'm happier, more content, and more comfortable in my life right now. I'm less stressed in a deep and abiding sense. I feel like I'm doing my job well, and that I'm getting feedback that matches how well I'm doing at my job, and that doing my job well is what matters- there's no Sword of Damocles hanging over me saying that I will be judged unworthy because of something mostly out of my control (i.e. funding).

Yeah. I've known a handful of people to leave academic science jobs or careers because of denial of tenure, loss of grants or "I'm scraping by but I've just had enough!" reasons. All situations that people still in the biz might think of as "not hacking it" or "failing" in some way. Reality is considerably more nuanced of course. The majority of people that I talk with end up quite contented, happy and less stressed out when they take other career paths. Whether this is because of objective reasons or because the human animal is great at making the best of all situations is irrelevant. The important point is that when you are in that stressful pre-tenure mode it is good to keep in mind that denial of tenure is not the End of the World as you Know it.

42 responses so far

  • agree says:

    Pretty much. It is a myopic view of the world to say that a tenured position is the be-all end-all of career success.

  • Becca says:

    Good post.
    Mixed feelings indeed.
    It's good to hear someone who's left academia seems to be less stressed. One of the more twisted things professors have said to me is something along the lines of "well, if you are this stressed as a graduate student, when we're not even putting pressure on you, you must just be by nature too sensitive (intrinsically deficient?) to cut it."
    So while I'm glad he's found a more peaceful path, I'm also frustrated that the guild of academic scientists sees fit to exclude someone who sounds like they'd be a very good teacher from being a professor.

  • another female post-doc says:

    Thanks! it came at a time when I am kind of mourning about leaving research which I love so much. I used to be a teacher at a small college in the far-far away land. While I really loved teaching and interacting with students, I found research more challenging and rewarding, and I really don't want to go back to full time teaching. Its worth to note that end of any path is not the end of life. Rob's optimism is appreciable.

  • PhysioProf says:

    While Knop's situation was unfortunate, the fact of the matter is that he was not successful at performing the job duties expected of a tenure-track faculty member at a research-intensive university like Vanderbilt. He knew, or should have known, going in that obtaining substantial external funding and publishing substantially in peer reviewed journals is the overwhelmingly most important measure of success for such a job.
    The fault is not Vanderbilt's for being such an institution, or the "system's" for including institutions such as Vanderbilt at which research productivity overwhelms everything else. The "guild of academic scientists" did not exclude Knop. A particular research-intensive institution correctly determined that by their standards his performance was not sufficient to merit tenure. Given his stated professional priorities--"while research and pushing the frontiers was a love of mine, it paled compared to how much I loved re-exploring it and helping others discover it"--he was in the wrong job.

  • Mad Hatter says:

    Nice post! All the people I know who were denied tenure either left academia research altogether, or got tenured Associate Professorships at a different institution. I'm curious--what are the other possible outcomes? Can someone start over at the Assistant Professor level somewhere else?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Can someone start over at the Assistant Professor level somewhere else?
    No reason they couldn't. However, I've never heard of starting over, as in at year 1 with 6 yrs until tenure if that's what you mean. Who would want to do that even if offered?
    A typical outcome might be a 1-2 yr tenure clock just to make sure the person wasn't a complete nutter or, as you say, Assoc. w/ tenure at a different institution.
    becca and PP, I think you can see from the end of Rob's post I linked to that he also feels like he simply took the wrong job in the first place. That he would have been much happier as a small university / college professor. That's a tough call though, isn't it? I mean you only get a finite number of offers and you may have to integrate other life demands into the situation.
    it does, though, caution one to think long and hard when entering the job market about the type of job that is really compatible with one's skills and motivations.

  • AND says:

    The font size on his blog is readable, so I like that.

  • NM says:

    At least you still have tenure. It's essentially gone in research in my part of the world. There certainly isn't a tenure track. Getting tenure means taking a teaching job.

  • juniorprof says:

    There certainly isn't a tenure track. Getting tenure means taking a teaching job.
    I think for most of us biological sciences people (at least at R1s or top 50s or whatever its called now) that tenure is more or less meaningless. The 5 year review for tenure just means you got promoted to associate prof but if you lose funding you'll be gone. Deans, Dept chairs and everyone else told me more or less that flat out when I was interviewing. Of course I also knew this would be the case and was perfectly happy getting into such a situation. If you are under the impression that tenure is actually some sort of amazing cloak of job security you better be damn sure its true because I would assume that your idea is actually wrong.

  • Another thoughtful and insightful post from DrugMonkey. How...do...you...do...it?
    When I was a grad student someone recommended I read PB Medawar's Advice to a Young Scientist. One of the recommendations is that, if you really want tenure so badly, you do into industry for 10-15 years and then make the jump to academia as a tenured faculty member. I always wondered if that really worked and if people do that in other fields. I certainly know of it happening the other way where people leave academia for industry.

  • Kim says:

    Can someone start over at the Assistant Professor level somewhere else?
    No reason they couldn't. However, I've never heard of starting over, as in at year 1 with 6 yrs until tenure if that's what you mean. Who would want to do that even if offered?

    Yes, you can start over at the Assistant Professor level. Most institutions will give some kind of credit for prior experience (as they would to someone who switched jobs pre-tenure, or to someone who had teaching experience from work as a sabbatical replacement). I, however, officially went back to square one (though they let me come up for tenure in four years).

  • Dawn says:

    As somebody exposed to the academic world (up-and-coming postdoc), I seriously question if we are just asking too much of our university research faculty. Research faculty are expected to be teachers, fundraisers, and researchers. Somewhere along the way, they are bound to be spread too thin. And forget about the fact that we are not even preparing our grad students/postdocs for these tasks (minus research), let alone the multi-tasking involved (many universities don't even allow postdocs to PI grants). Why couldn't we have a system that has (permanent) lecturing faculty as well as researching faculty? Although there are certainly individuals who are both good teachers and good researchers, in my experience, many people lean one way or another. Wouldn't it be better for the faculty, as well as the students (I *know* many of you, just like me, have sat in many a class where the #1 faculty in the department should not even be allowed to get near a chalkboard), if we built a system where faculty can really focus on ONE role?

  • LindaCO says:

    My advisor got the "you're not going to make tenure" talk when I was in school. She's another case of someone who is happier now in her career, although she was/is a great analytical thinker and an effective teacher, so it was the University's loss in a way.
    Even though I don't see a tenure track position in the cards for me, I wistfully think about it as an ideal. The autonomy, intellectual growth and positive effect one can have on students is very attractive.
    I hope to parlay my degree into a position with both research and teaching components, but don't see how I can be around to raise my kid and pursue tenure at the same time. My hat is off to those that pull it off.

  • PhysioProf says:

    Why couldn't we have a system that has (permanent) lecturing faculty as well as researching faculty?

    Huge-ass research universities are not particularly interested in giving permanent tenured positions to pure teachers, because it is the research that brings in the money and prestige. No matter how good a teacher someone is, the wider world doesn't give a flying fuck. A kick-ass researcher can bring in millions and millions of grant/contract/royalty dollars and huge prestige, which then brings in more money through donations from rich-ass motherfuckers.
    Sol should be here any minute to tell you I'm correct.

  • Dawn says:

    Oh I am sure that you are correct. 😉
    It's just an unfortunate state of affairs and getting worse all the time when the focus becomes money. Are we really surprised are children aren't "learning good?" It would be worthwhile (in the grander scheme of things, I would think) for universities to take a few of those millions of dollars in grant money and give back to the university community in the form of salaries for good lecturers. Not only is that good for the undergrads, it is also good for the majority of grad students who spent many years of their lives studying, researching, and obtaining a PhD, only to then leave academia because they either can't get a job or perceive that they are not likely get a long-term job in academia. Certainly many of the teaching-minded grad students would jump on the opportunity to remain in academia as a lecturer.
    Even having a few lecturers per department would take some of the burden off of the research faculty. I imagine a university where research faculty *could* still teach if they wanted to; and lecturers could continue research if they wanted to (but wouldn't be pressured to bring in grants). It just seems that a system like that would flow, and perhaps be more productive in the end?

  • DrOffTopic says:

    DM/PP -- how about a post concerning the exorbitant prices vendors charge for supplies, how they feed the fire by offering free T-shirts (likely marketed to grad students) with a purchase of $XXX or more, and how that relates to current budget woes + scientific progress.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    juniorprof had a thing on that as one of the first posts...

  • Becca says:

    @PP- Perhaps the guild of academic scientists made their decision to reject him when the only job offer Rob had was one he wasn't truly suited for?
    Look, I don't think of Vanderbilt as a villian here (or even academia broadly). I do think it is unfortunate there is a computer engineer out there who is trained and would love to be teaching science and more involved with current research, who doesn't seem to have a lot of opportunities. I think what I'm looking for from the system is not that everyone succeeds at a TT Research I type job (that's unrealistic and probably totally undesirable), but that it's possible to still be a scientist without being a PI with tenure at a university (so yeah, if you or DM is ever hard up for post topics, I wouldn't mind hearing any tenure-rejection-but-still-a-scientist stories you might happen accross).
    @DM- your point about the job market is well taken. I think it is very difficult for most people to see beyond the options at hand. If you only got into one grad school, or got accepted at for a TT-position at one university, or whatever, and you aren't really happy with that particular but you definitely want that general career path, it is extremely difficult to know whether you should refuse it, and sometimes even more difficult to actually do so.

  • juniorprof says:

    I am simultaneously humbled and honored that DM remembers crap I wrote many months ago. Here is the link...

  • juniorprof says:

    A kick-ass researcher can bring in millions and millions of grant/contract/royalty dollars and huge prestige, which then brings in more money through donations from rich-ass motherfuckers.
    I think it is worth noting that these kick-ass researchers tend to become kick-ass lecturers and teachers (or maybe already were) and as they approach retirement-type age they tend to take over more and more teaching duties as a way to keep a firm foot in the department and keep doing what they love while slowing down a bit on the treadmill of grant pursuit. As they transition to more teaching they become the BFF of all other younger faculty (those still firmly planted on the treadmill) because they maintain their stature for the dept and reduce the teaching burden of those that don't have time to run an entire course every semester. We have 2 such people in our dept and they are beyond valuable (at least from my perspective).

  • PhysioProf says:

    And some of them become lazy-ass douchemongers who refuse to contribute anything to the teaching/research/administrative missions of their departments, suck up massive amounts of departmental resources, and refuse to get the fuck out of the way so that new faculty can be hired.

  • CC says:

    When I was a grad student someone recommended I read PB Medawar's Advice to a Young Scientist. One of the recommendations is that, if you really want tenure so badly, you do into industry for 10-15 years and then make the jump to academia as a tenured faculty member. I always wondered if that really worked and if people do that in other fields. I certainly know of it happening the other way where people leave academia for industry.
    As I'd mentioned in the Top Science Books discussion elsewhere, those Medawar and Ramon y Cajal books are ... dated. I've seen people jump from solid academic careers into industry, decide it wasn't for them, and jump back after a few years. But I can only think of one person who did what you describe. Maybe it's different for chemists or pharmacologists, and everything is different for MDs, but I still don't know anyone who did it.
    Honestly, who would choose to do it even if the universities wanted new tenured faculty with no experience in teaching, grants or mentoring? I can tell you that no one around here ever responds to reorgs or other corporate headaches with "If only I were applying for R01s and talking desperate postdocs down off the ledge!" And I doubt if universities are eager to hire refugees from Pfizer and GSK when there is already a long line of postdocs waving their Cell papers and looking for entry level slots.

  • juniorprof says:

    And some of them become lazy-ass douchemongers who refuse to contribute anything to the teaching/research/administrative missions of their departments, suck up massive amounts of departmental resources, and refuse to get the fuck out of the way so that new faculty can be hired.
    Excellent point. Luckily, we don't have any of those here presently. The previous locale, you betcha!!

  • DSKS says:

    "No matter how good a teacher someone is, the wider world doesn't give a flying fuck."
    Absolutely, and that's not at all unjustified. Exceptional teachers are incredibly valuable in early education, when students have yet to reach the level of maturity to begin guiding their own learning development. (Hell, if I hadn't had good teachers when I was 14, I'd be living in my parent's basement playing Halo 3, right now*). In higher education, otoh, the further development of an adult student should really be contingent on their personal drive to learn and not on the caliber of their professors as teachers. At the end of the day, all universities already have a pre-installed fail-safe device to protect their students from crap professors; it's called a library. Employing exceptional teachers isn't, and shouldn't be, a priority at this level of learning.
    * I confess that a tiny part of my brain lit up at that prospect

  • anon says:

    denial of tenure is not the end of the world. But that's only if you kept everything in perspective in the first place.

  • Mad Hatter says:

    The 5 year review for tenure just means you got promoted to associate prof but if you lose funding you'll be gone. ~juniorprof @ #9
    In my subfield, tenured faculty get to stick around even if they lose funding, with the exception of a few institutions (notably Scripps). There are a couple of Associate Professors here who have no funding, no labs, no students, etc. but still come to work everyday. I think these people wind up doing a lot of teaching and service, but they still have their jobs. I do think they're in the minority, though--most people in those circumstances choose to leave.
    that it's possible to still be a scientist without being a PI with tenure at a university ~Becca @ #18
    Totally possible. I just wrote a new post at Alt Sci on the different non-PI options in academic research. DM/PP: apologies for the shameless blog promotion!
    [We like shameless on-topic blog promotion! Mad Hatter's Post is here- DM]

  • anon says:

    pp I'm a bit confused--on what grounds are you concluding that this particular tenure case was "correctly" decided? An independent evaluation of the accomplishments? The statement that the candidate loved teaching more than research? An assumption that a decision must have been correct because Vanderbilt is incapable of making an error on the merits?
    I know nothing about this case but know that the outcome is not perfectly correlated with merit. The auestion is how well correlated are they?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    In my subfield, tenured faculty get to stick around even if they lose funding, with the exception of a few institutions
    I think the job security parameters are most attributable to job category, not subfield or (in most cases) specific institutions. Traditional Universities, for example, can have good olde skoole FTE tenure track and soft money jobs. in different departments and even within department. and this crosses all fields, IME. As you note, there are whole institutions which are essentially all soft-money. or, realistically, soft-money plus endowment/philanthropy support for the more-equal investigators...

  • PhysioProf says:

    I'm a bit confused--on what grounds are you concluding that this particular tenure case was "correctly" decided?
    I draw that conclusion on the basis of Knop's own statements that he had obtained no substantial external funding for his research program. At institutions like Vanderbilt, no funding == no tenure, period.

  • Mad Hatter says:

    DM--Thanks for putting in the link. Last time I tried to insert a link, the system ate my entire comment!

  • anon says:

    "At institutions like Vanderbilt, no funding == no tenure, period."
    I'm guessing that that's not true, even at Vanderbilt. Are al the English profs there externally funded? And, even if we don't want to go that far, all the theoreticians? mathematicians? It's certainly worth noting that if you're told you won't get tenure without grant funding, that it means you WONT GET TENURE WITHOUT GRANT FUNDING (even if you think that your program doesn't require it). I appreciate PP & DM's efforts to reminding us to listen to what the requirements of the job actually are, rather than living in some care bear world that we wish we lived in. But recognizing reality doesn't mean we shouldn't think about whether the reality is damaging or bad.
    Perhaps you believe that the "correct" operation of a major research university is to demand a particular form of external funding for tenure, but I don't and so I wouldn't see denial of tenure for lack of funding to = correct. (and, I'd further suggest that if one is going to make this a requirement it might as well be written into the faculty codes).

  • PhysioProf says:

    I'm guessing that that's not true, even at Vanderbilt. Are al the English profs there externally funded? And, even if we don't want to go that far, all the theoreticians? mathematicians?

    We're talking about experimental scientists.

    Perhaps you believe that the "correct" operation of a major research university is to demand a particular form of external funding for tenure, but I don't and so I wouldn't see denial of tenure for lack of funding to = correct.

    You need to work on your fucking reading comprehension. This was my original comment on this issue (emphasis in original):

    A particular research-intensive institution correctly determined that by their standards his performance was not sufficient to merit tenure.

    Do you not understand the meaning of the phrase "by their standards"?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    alright, alright, calm down everyone. I think the PP and I probably followed the whole Knop thing reasonably closely and (ahem) tend to forget that just because I put in the links doesn't mean the horse will take a drink reader will necessarily go and read the whole dismal story.
    My recollection was that part of Rob's frustration was the fact that the administration at Vandy was telling him in no uncertain terms that lack of grants was going to be his doom whereas at hire, grant funding was described as only part of the evaluation. I think there was also something about contemporaneous hires being sold the same bill of "major funding is not a requirement for tenure" goods.
    So trying to make some useful headway in the discussion, it would seem that part of the frustration of promotion is that hard and fast rules are in some cases so general or contain so many "maybe there will be an exception" clauses as to seem useless.
    My view is that yes, institutions are very invested in retaining their autonomy when it comes to denying tenure. This is why you will never see "X pubs in Y Impact Factor journals plus Z $ in grant funding = tenure" in the promotion guidelines....
    Also why it can be unwise to think "Gee I have better objective pub and funding than the last three successfully tenured professors in my department so I'm good".

  • anon says:

    PP, really, are you as nasty in person? I ask, because I think that all your posts suggest that you're truly are a feminist. But, I can tell you that if you say "You need to work on your fucking reading comprehension" to a female post-doc, graduate student, junior colleague, you're pretty likely to contribute to the ton of feathers that drives women out of the profession.
    DM -- I do think that "unofficial rules" are part of the problem (for tenure, for jobs, for publications, for grants) and that they have a selective impact on the most vulnerable, the folks who are least likely to be part of the network.

  • Isis says:

    This is better than Springer or Maury.

  • tissue-x says:

    The DNA test results are in.
    PP, you are NOT the father.

  • PhysioProf says:

    PP, really, are you as nasty in person?

    PhysioProf is not nasty! PhysioProf is insouciantly cheerful!

  • Rob Knop says:

    So, yes, I should have read this and commented three weeks ago.
    My recollection was that part of Rob's frustration was the fact that the administration at Vandy was telling him in no uncertain terms that lack of grants was going to be his doom whereas at hire, grant funding was described as only part of the evaluation. I think there was also something about contemporaneous hires being sold the same bill of "major funding is not a requirement for tenure" goods.
    I was under no illusion about the necessity of getting funding... I knew from the start that I had to do it. I was worried, because it was something I had zero experience or skill for, but I figured, hey, I've got a few years, it'll work out. Things became progressively more oppressive as I failed repeatedly to do it. And, yes, my last year, we were interviewing astronomy candidates who were told that funding wasn't necessary for tenure, and I thought that my administration was a collective lying sack of $#!+ for saying that... but my department chair made it clear to them what the real story was.
    Yes, certainly, by the standards of the research University, I was not measuring up-- I was, objectively, a failure. I personally think those standards are stupid, but then, I'm hardly an unbiased observer. What was perhaps most frustrating is that by most other measures, I was doing very well. I would go and give talks places, and people would give me positive feedback; I had people at places where I'd given talks tell me "oh, you'll have no problem getting tenure." I'd won Vanderbilt's own Chancellor's Award for Research. I was one of the the top three AAS Shapley lecturers my last year. The thing is, in my field, the assumption was that anybody who had those kinds of things in his record of course was also getting funding, so there was no need to even wonder or question it. In the end, it crushed my soul. And, I'm not convinced that what Vanderbilt did in enforcing its standards was what was best for Vanderbilt. But they were enforcing their standards-- PhysioProf, despite a rather abrasive way of stating it, is entirely right. No, the playing field isn't level; if it had been seven years earlier, the NSF would not have been quite as oversubscribed. If I'd been a particle physicist, I would have been absorbed into the existing team's block grant and there never would have been a question. But, given what I was demanded to do, I did not do it; I spent more time and energy on the things that where what I saw as the true value of my job rather than the things that would let me check off the tenure boxes, until in the last couple of years where I was so depressed that I wasn't able to make much progress in my own research at all any more. And I was flushed out of the system, and by the standard of the system, that flushing was the proper thing to do.
    And, yes, ultimately, I was in the wrong job. The fact of life is, and a fact of life that somebody like me who wants to dive into this field must simply face up to, is that there is a huge oversupply of creative and excellent young faculty to fill faculty jobs. Is it a loss to Astronomy and to Vanderbilt that I'm not teaching any more? Yeah... in the same sense that it is a loss to Lake Michigan if you cart a bucket of water away from it. They won't miss me. The pipeline suffers bias problems, but it assuredly does not suffer volume problems. The pain in this separation is all mine, and none the academy's. So, if you're thinking, what a shame that somebody who cares about students and teaching well isn't teaching college physics any more, yeah, I appreciate the sentiment, for it is a shame for me... but it's really not a shame for the academy. Despite the many years of education and the skills needed, people like me are borderline disposable in academia when you really look at the supply and demand situation. (Indeed, the only reason tenure-track faculty aren't mistreated and disposed of as regularly as adjunct faculty lectures is because the University does make something of an investment in an individual on the tenure track; but they are always easy, if not necessarily cheap, to replace.)
    If you aren't a self-confident, aggressive, and competitive person who thrives on stress, on marketing yourself, and if you aren't highly resilient to mixed messages of false-smile congratulation and underhanded backslaps of assumed failure, I strongly recommend you do not consider a tenure track job in Physics or Astronomy.
    (Now I wonder why I didn't just write this all on my own blog.)

  • PhysioProf says:

    If you aren't a self-confident, aggressive, and competitive person who thrives on stress, on marketing yourself, and if you aren't highly resilient to mixed messages of false-smile congratulation and underhanded backslaps of assumed failure, I strongly recommend you do not consider a tenure track job in Physics or Astronomy.

    That recommendation applies to any tenure-track faculty position.

  • Bill says:

    "If you aren't a self-confident, aggressive, and competitive person who thrives on stress, on marketing yourself, and if you aren't highly resilient to mixed messages of false-smile congratulation and underhanded backslaps of assumed failure, I strongly recommend you do not consider a tenure track job in Physics or Astronomy.
    That recommendation applies to any tenure-track faculty position"
    Physioprof, you are such an asshole.

  • abeta says:

    Bill, is he right?

  • Jim Thomrson says:

    During my active life, my department denied thee professors tenure. One, whom I thought badly treated, got a job and blossomed at a much bigger and better university. One, who hadn't worked out and was unhappy, quit before we could complete the process. He found a nonacademic job and became a happy camper. One asked for a reevaluation and received tenure. He passed away a few years later.
    So, there is life without tenure, and tenure does not insure a long and happy life.

Leave a Reply