February 2, 2014

University: Non-Tenured Faculty Bring ‘Different’ Skills

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By JONATHAN LOBEL

Despite a recent study finding, which found that students in introductory classes learned more from non-tenure-track faculty than tenure-track faculty, Cornell administrators and faculty said they believe both types of professors bring benefits to education at Cornell.

The study, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concluded that students taught by untenured faculty were more likely to earn better grades in future courses.

The study is based on data collected from over 15,000 students at Northwestern University between 2001 and 2008, according to The New York Times.

According to Laura Brown, senior vice provost for Undergraduate Education, faculty who have just completed their doctorates and are arriving to Cornell without tenure are exposed to different perspectives, approaches and experiences than professors who have been teaching for many years.

Prof. Rosemary Avery, policy analysis and management, a tenured professor speaks at the “Last Lecture,” an event that invites professors to deliver engaging lessons, in November. (Michelle Feldman / Sun Staff Photographer)

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