From an interview with President Michael Crow of Arizona State University:
'No matter what ideas you come up with in academic institutions,
there will be people opposed to it.'
WSJ: You've asked professors to be more entrepreneurial. Should tenure be reconsidered?
MR. CROW: Tenure should be defined more carefully and reconsidered from that. Tenure is basically an opportunity to pursue your agenda for your life without interference relative to the topic. It isn't a license for being lazy. It isn't a license for being nonproductive. It is a lifetime opportunity at the research university level to pursue highly disruptive ideas and innovations without fear. But it isn't a license to do anything other than work as hard as you possibly can.
WSJ: Is that what tenure has become?
MR. CROW: In some places it has become a shield or a protector for people who aren't performing at the highest possible level, and in those cases that tenure should be reviewed.
As a tenured professor, I have to say that I do not find these statements terribly alarming. Why shouldn't post-tenure productivity be reviewed? In fact, I find a paraphrase of these thoughts rather inspiring:
So who should earn tenure? Incredibly hardworking, fearless, and potentially disruptive individuals, I suppose. The question is, Does the tenure process identify those people, or screen them out?