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Science Careers Blog

March 10, 2010

Even Tenure No Protection in This Tough Economy

We've written about what a lousy job market we're in for early-career scientists -- see Tenure-Track Jobs Remain Scarce for the latest account.

But there are scarier examples out there of how lousy the times are for academic scientists. An example: Florida State University (FSU) has laid off 25 tenured faculty members as the departments of geology, oceanography, and anthropology are disbanded and merged into a new Earth and Atmospheric Sciences unit. Reportedly, three tenure-track assistant professors also lost their jobs. All told, about 200 people, faculty and staff, are expected to lose their jobs.

There's an account of the fall-out -- Layoffs Lower Morale by Senior Staff Writer Courtney Griffin -- published last Thursday at FSUNews.com, the online edition of FSU's student newspaper. Other Florida universities are also laying off tenured faculty members, but in far fewer numbers than FSU.

The faculty -- including Philip "Flip" Froelich, Francis Eppes professor of oceanography, who will lose his job, is incensed. "The university administration has torn the fabric of the faculty, there's no trust between the faculty and the upper administration of this university," Froelich said, quoted in the article.

Hat Tip: National Student News Service

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