Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire

Historians in the News
tags: Columbia University



The number of undergraduate American history courses taught by tenured professors has declined 44 percent over the past three years, resulting in increased reliance on visiting and adjunct professors to maintain course offerings. 

This marks a period of transition for the storied department, which has been regarded as a leader in the field of study for its deep bench of prominent scholars.

Many of these professors are set to depart in the next few years including Professors Eric Foner, Kenneth Jackson, Herbert Sloan and Alan Brinkley. Professor Alice Kessler-Harris is set to depart in June 2016. 

Many of these professors have gradually phased out teaching undergraduate lecture courses as they have gone on leave or prepared for retirement. For example, Brinkley hasn’t taught a course since fall 2014, and Barnard History professor Mark Carnes hasn’t taught since spring 2014.

This means that a growing number of courses in the department are being taught by visiting professors or junior faculty members....




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