The argument for tenure has always been a combination of academic freedom and job security. And increasingly we believe that claim for freedom is really an excuse for self-indulgence, and that sort of security is incompatible with the requirements of the increasingly competitive or productivity-oriented global marketplace. The academic world is hardly exempt from the general pressure to become a meritocracy based on productivity. Productivity, of course, has to be measured. And so profesors, like everyone else, have to be held accountable. Tenured professors, the thought is, can't be held accountable. They can do what they please and not be fired.
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