The decision is a rare win for tenured faculty, who have seen their power and job protections erode in recent years. Numerous institutions have laid off faculty members this year, and at some, administrators have all but stated the professors will be replaced with adjuncts, who are cheaper to employ.

Much of the Illinois Supreme Court case rested on interpretation of a few words in the law. The Public Community College Act stipulates that laid-off faculty members shall have preferred right of reappointment for about two years for positions they are qualified for, “provided that no non-tenure faculty member or other employee with less seniority shall be employed to render a service which a tenured faculty member is competent to render.”

Noticia en Inside Higher Ed

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