Career Advice | Professional Development | Tenure | Academic Librarians
November 26, 2018
The standards for tenure are high at many colleges and universities. And those standards are only getting higher. For academics seeking tenure or a tenure-track position, that typically means long hours and extra work.
But there are ways to further your quest for tenure without overworking.
In this Two-Minute Tip video, Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz gives you five tips to be more strategic on the tenure track.
A friend and fellow tenure-track professor was recently describing how busy he’s been in the past four months — giving talks around the country, finalizing a book manuscript, attending workshops, teaching two new courses. Now, he is mulling whether to add to that load by taking on the directorship of a new academic program. Why, I asked, why he was doing so much? “I’m getting ready for tenure,” he replied.
The matter-of-fact way in which he answered drove home the precarious nature of academic employment and the increasingly high bar to earn tenure.
My graduate adviser got tenure in the early 1970s after only three years as an assistant professor and with just two publications. Today, some Research I universities award tenure in the sciences only if you’ve published six to eight articles a year, or in the humanities, two books within six or seven years (one of which must “change the field”). Those tenure standards are very difficult to meet, even with a minimal teaching schedule, a sizable amount of grant dollars, and a troop of graduate students. Even at teaching-oriented institutions, the requirements for promotion are much more formidable than they used to be. But meet them you must, if you want to keep working in academe.
So how do you resist overworking when, in many instances, that is the only path to tenure?
For more, read Manya Whitaker’s article “How to Be Strategic on the Tenure Track.