Higher Education's practice of hiring Ph.D.s with little or no practical, real world experience, to educate over more qualified Masters and sometimes Undergraduate candidates. It can extend to less than doctorate degree holders having a "terminal" degree, such as a M.F.A., M.A. or M.B.A., over a M.S. degree holder. Even though a M.S. is a preparatory degree for a Ph.D. and contains a research component, many full time temporary and adjunct faculty members are consistently overlooked for promotion due to an "old boys club" type hiring philosophy from search committees, deans and provosts. Terminal degree holders are not immune to this type of discriminatory hiring practice either.
"I know we have a robust staff of full time temps. I know they are a safe bet for success and have been there for us, but we need a Ph.D. for accreditation," is an example of Letter Bias. Also, "they continue to teach 5 classes a semester, if we hire them tenure track we will have to work them less and pay them more, let's just get a Ph.D. it will look better anyway," is an example of Letter Bias.
by Bobby F. Dowd February 22, 2012