Poisoned Ivy?

Academe is closely watching Minnesota's attack on tenure

University of Minnesota physics Professor Thomas Walsh doesn't fit the mold of a rabble-rouser. For his 13 years on the faculty, the 55-year-old physicist has studied particles that hold the universe together. But now his own universe is being threatened, and Walsh is fighting back by trying to unionize fellow faculty members. The menace: a proposal by university administrators to weaken tenure--professors' guarantee of lifetime employment and, they argue, academic freedom. "Unionization of the faculty is a last resort, but it's one we're prepared to go for," says Walsh.

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