Professor Says Tenure Promotes Academic Freedom

Saint Mary's College politics professor Patrizia Longo was quoted in a Contra Costa Times article about an increasing trend of colleges and universities replacing tenure-track faculty with part-time instructors. A new study by the American Association of University Professors concludes that the practice could harm the quality of higher education.

The article notes that some departments at Saint Mary's are trying to increase the number of tenure-track teachers. Longo is quoted as saying that tenure helps faculty members feel safe about expressing their opinions, in and out of the classroom.

"Adjunct faculty are in a very precarious position, particularly as far as academic freedom goes," she said. "Before I got tenured, it was difficult to speak about the issues I felt strongly about."