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Faculty status, tenure, and compensating wage differentials among members of the Association of Research Libraries

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1488-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-528-4

ISSN: 0732-0671

Publication date: 3 June 2008

Abstract

The institution of tenure has elicited debate and controversy since its introduction in higher education. Proponents argue the need for tenure based on academic freedom and efficient university governance. Critics argue that it represents inefficiency in the higher education labor market and protects less productive faculty members. The use of tenure in academic libraries has been no less controversial, with only 40−60% of academic libraries supporting tenure track positions for academic librarians. This dichotomy in the labor market for academic librarians represents a natural experiment and allows for the testing of the presence of a compensating wage differential for tenure.

This study examines 10 years’ worth of cross-sectional data drawn from member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Models examine both the institutional characteristics of tenure-granting ARL academic libraries and the impact of tenure on starting salaries. Issues related to both a union wage premium and a compensating wage differential due to tenure are explored. The results of this research suggest that tenure, while serving other functions within an academic library setting, does not have the predicted impact on starting salaries.

Citation

Lee, D. (2008), "Faculty status, tenure, and compensating wage differentials among members of the Association of Research Libraries", Garten, E.D., Williams, D.E., Nyce, J.M. and Golden, J. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-208. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0732-0671(08)00204-6

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited