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Tenure is justifiable

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 February 2007

W. Bentley MacLeod*
Department of Economics, Columbia University, New York, NY10027-7296


The target article by Ceci et al. provides some interesting results regarding how faculty might react to difficult social dilemmas, but it has little to say about tenure and its effect upon academic freedom. This comment discusses briefly what we know about tenure, and employment protection more generally, and why it may be in a university's best interest to hire tenured faculty. The comment concludes by pointing out that the results make a rather useful contribution regarding the difficulty of eliciting information on malfeasance in organizations, an area of enormous importance. For example, the results may help us understand why the government has introduced rewards for the reporting of fraud under the whistle-blowing provisions of the Federal Claims Act.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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1. Certainly, tenure is not necessary for individuals to report malfeasance. See Couzin (2006) for a discussion of a recent case in which several graduate students, at great personal cost, reported fraud committed by their supervisor.