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How To Get Tenure At An Academic Institution 精选

已有 11871 次阅读 2013-5-17 22:45 |系统分类:海外观察

Fornew readers and those who request to be “好友 good friends” please read my 公告first. 

 

For young academics,getting tenure at a university is the most important step in one’s career.However besides hard work and possibly luck, there is actually little control one has over the actual decision process. This is because the process is entirely under  the control of a group of your departmental and world wide academic colleagues known  as the tenure review committee in which you do not participate beyond submitting written  materials concerning your record and accomplishment. In particular, you cannot defend  yourself against anycriticisms on your record justified or not. It is not a court proceeding in which you know what is said for or against you and have opportunity to clarify or defend  yourself. Thus, the question arises what you can do to put your best foot forward?

Since you cannot speak for yourself, you must find surrogates to speak for you.  I shall list them in myopinion in order of importance.

1.    Money talks. This is universal. If you are bringing in one million dollars of research  money ayear to your department, then it will be foolish for any school to turn you away without very good reason. Administrator and your colleague may not openly admit this but believe me it is true.

2.    You have a mentor and supporter on the decision committee. This is the  next best thing to being there yourself. Thus, it is important during your non-tenure period to develop a senior colleague who truly understand and appreciate  what you do.

3.     peer opinion in the field about your contributions and potential

4.    Your reputation within the department as a good citizen

5.    Your teaching ability. I list them here from a viewpoint of a research university aspiring  to be world class.

 

Of course unspoken but given conditions necessary for tenure are no criminal records,  no unethical scholarly conduct, integrity, etc. Also truly world shaking accomplishment such as  Nobel prize etc. and once in a great while, a great teacher with a best selling textbook whom a university cannot afford not to have will make tenure automatic and one does not have to pay attention to my list above. But for most of us starting out. Pay attention to this list in the first five years of your career.

 

References

1.    http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-296395.htmlOn Tenure and TenureTrack-关于终身职位和预备终身职位(中英对照)

2.    http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-1808.html  Lifeof an Academic in the US

3.    http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-239719.html  一个美国教授的生活(二)(中英对照)

 



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