What is it about?

The study explains the coexistence of tenured and contingent faculty positions in academia. It provides a new model to explain the relationship between these two tracks of employment in academia, and the necessity to have them both simultaneously.

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Why is it important?

By providing a framework where both types of jobs (tenured and adjunct/temporary/contingent) coexist, the study refutes the widely heard warnings about the end of tenure in academia. At the same time, it is shown that a tenured-only track of employment in academia is not an option. Finally, the explanation of the relationship between these two tracks of employment is based on the academic publication process (scientific papers in refereed academic journals). A more accurate editorial process will increase efficiency, save costs, and increase the share of tenured (and tenure-track) jobs in academia.


I hope this article will constitute the foundation of discussions about the tenure system in academia. Likewise, we can strive to empirically estimate the parameters offered in the model so to provide predictions about the trends in tenured-contingent ratios in different disciplines.

Muhammad Asali

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This page is a summary of: A tale of two tracks, Education Economics, March 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/09645292.2019.1586836.
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