Defending academic freedom


Madam, – I don’t understand what my colleagues are worried about (January 20th). The chances are the next government will repudiate the Croke Park agreement because of lack of progress on the reform of work practices. Instead we will have further pay cuts and compulsory redundancies. Those with the privilege of tenure will likely be protected and remain free to continue their campaign for academic freedom, while the price for the failure of Croke Park will paid by our more vulnerable colleagues. – Yours, etc,


School of History,

University College Cork,

College Road, Cork.

Madam, – So our academics are up in arms about “academic freedom” or more to the point about the holy cow of tenure (January 20th).

Anyone who has been through our university system will know full well that for every productive and creative lecturer there is a complacent time-server going through the motions. The same goes for our schools.

So by all means separate the wheat from the chaff. Is it too fanciful to want our universities to be meritocracies and not branches of the civil service? – Yours, etc,


Saval Park Crescent,

Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Madam,  – The granting of the right to permanency and tenure is the biggest single mistake this country has made. Why strive to achieve when you can sit and daydream? You might make a mistake and be censured for it.

If this country is to recover it needs reform from top to bottom: removal of the right to permanency would be a good starting point. – Yours, etc,


Watson Road,


Co Dublin.