Letters: Freedom of speech for untenured professorsby Tucson Citizen on May. 02, 2009, under Opinion
Professors’ minds are terrible things to waste
Since the early 1900s, tenure has been solely responsible for the long-term employment of professors of higher education around the world and the protection of their freedom of speech.
Unfortunately, it is only given to a few professors, and then only after a rigorous six- to seven-year probationary period.
Here in the United States of America, it is commonly known that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech; it, however, is not commonly understood that it does not guarantee that one cannot be fired for what is said.
This is an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to untenured professors. They must use caution with curriculum, exercise suitable conduct in meetings, and use their manners when it comes to senior faculty members – or worry about losing their jobs for speaking their minds.
Tenure allows for the progress of work, controversial and not, to continue without reprimand. Over the years, the numbers of tenured faculty have significantly decreased, and this is hurting American education.
It is this work that furthers and advances society. By limiting the number of professors able to do this, we slow our progress.
I suggest a new system be instituted, one that maintains the basic idea of tenure but also protects freedom of speech for untenured professors. By limiting our professors, we limit our potential, and thus slow ourselves down.
Drinking college frosh learn lessons . . . later
I am a freshman at the University of Arizona, and I would like to talk about how college freshmen’s grades are affected by drinking.
Our economy is becoming harder to live in, so more high school students are beginning to pursue higher education so they are able to succeed.
Most first-year students engage in partying two to three nights per week. Does being a first-year drinking college student affect your grades?
I believe drinking does have an effect on freshmen. And according to research, most universities and counselors tend to agree.
Research has shown that students who have had one drink in the past 14 days spent an average of 10.2 hours a week drinking and 8.4 hours a week studying.
Out of 30,000 first-year college students, 70 percent said they drank; 49 percent said they spent more time drinking than studying.
Freshmen think they can do everything. They believe they are correct all the time and think teachers do not know a thing about college. But they do.
Freshmen tend to have lower grades than other college students because they are in a new environment and put partying before class. But once they receive their grades after the first semester, they stop and think how school should be at the top of their priority list.