Most educators will tell you that tenure is an honor they strive for with their employment. It means they have proven themselves to be a very good instructor and that they will be allowed to continue working there for a very long time. It means they have job security and they can invest in their future without worrying about future employment. Not everyone is happy with the process of tenure though.
You will find plenty of reports filed by individuals that feel their rights have been violated once they earned tenure. They were threatened by the school to have it revoked if they continued to express their personal thoughts on various issues. This puts an individual into a very compromising position.
Some individuals work for the full five years that are generally required to be eligible for tenure, and then they are denied. They are never fully given the reasons why in any document. The evaluations for tenure decisions aren’t open to the public and the information discussed is not recorded. Many individuals feel they were prevented from earning tenure due to the words of other instructors or to save the school money.
There are plenty of issues out there relating to the politics of tenure. You will find some schools seem to dangle it out there like a carrot for educators. It allows them to be kept on a tight leash. It also encourages them to vote in the way the school wants them to on various issues instead of how they want to.
The fact that tenure can be revoked for some wishy washy issues is another area of concern. There are some blatant reasons why it should legitimately be revoked but not always. Those that have stood up for particular causes have later found their tenure to be on the line. The fact that they expressed their personal opinions isn’t something they feel should affect it.
It is very hard to prove any of these issues with tenure though. Since the guidelines for it are so different for each school they really can’t be enforced across the board. It makes no sense sometimes why someone is denied tenure but it is granted to others. This is a risk that educators take should they decide to pursue such a position.