I would love to ask a question on the tenure system that is in vogue in US. I see a few publications in Google, and also a few blog posts talking about the pros and cons of the system.

I wish to know the following:

  • Is the tenure system efficient as such?
  • Is it likely/probable/possible that it will get overhauled in the near/far future?
  • Why do we not have an annual incentive-based system (or something similar) instead of tenure?
  • Are there universities which have begun to do away with tenure already?

I am a bit doubtful if these questions are permissible or if they belong to community-wiki or if they belong at all. Most importantly I am afraid the answers may result in camps of people. Any idea how I should approach this? Thanks :)

PS: First post in meta, excuse me if I am not supposed to ask this here.

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    I suppose that you could frame the question as "Are there alternatives to the tenure system?" This would get most of the points you want across, without the potential for acrimony. – aeismail May 8 '12 at 6:35

I somewhat agree with @EnergyNumbers; the questions, as you phrased them, are discussion questions, and are not suited to this forum. The first asks for pure opinion, the second asks for speculation, and the third asks for conjecture. The fourth is actually applicable, but I would suggest that a simple google search may be useful in providing an answer.

That being said, if you have a directed question about how the process works, or how to best pursue tenure, or questions about departmental handling of providing tenure, that would be applicable.

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  • That's neat @eykanal. I wanted to have an idea about which is kosher and which is not and now this answer makes it clear. – Bravo May 8 '12 at 12:36

I think that all of this discussion will fit in very well into most academic discussion forums. It's a discussion you're after, after all.

StackExchange is not a forum, and is not a place for discussion. It's a place for questions with factual objective answers.

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    Disagree. You can get factual, objective answers in a forum like Eng or mathSE, but in acadSE it has always been about people's viewpoints. What objective answers could one get for "Attending university as an adult freshman" or "What are the essential points that should be covered in a dissertation abstract?" ? – Bravo May 8 '12 at 8:33
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    @bravo - Every stack exchange site has to define for itself what is "objective". In our case, providing anecdotal advice is a direct answer. You may get different advice from different people, but that's fine. Both questions ask a pointed, direct question that is able to be answered. – eykanal May 8 '12 at 12:24

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