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Top Ten or so Tips to Tenure


Office of the Vice-President and Provost. Office of the ... Anker Publising Co. Diamond, R. M.(1995) ... Anker Publishing Co. Frost, P.J. & Taylor, M.S. (1996) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Top Ten or so Tips to Tenure

Top Ten (or so) Tips to Tenure
  • Edith M Hillan
  • Vice-Provost Academic
  • University of Toronto

The Usual Tips to Tenure
  • Publish, publish, publish
  • Put off having a family
  • Ignore family and friends
  • Lock yourself in the ivory tower
  • Find a mentor

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Other Important Issues
  • Time / Task Management
  • Set Boundaries
  • Find Balance
  • Be Proactive
  • Be Assertive
  • Leverage
  • Be Creative
  • Make Connections

Time/Task Management
Time/Task Management
  • Set limits on the time you will spend on class
    preparation, writing and networking
  • Dont let these things bleed into your evenings
    and weekends
  • Arrange your teaching schedule so that all your
    classes meet on the same two, or at most three,
    days a week
  • Dont worry about answering your phone every time
    it rings if now is your work time, let it go to
    voicemail and return the call later in the day

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Time/Task Management
  • Susan Taylor, Executive Director of the Simon
    Fraser Faculty Association says-
  • do double-duty whenever possible. Combine your
    work with graduate students and directed studies
    courses, with the kind of research you are doing
  • take your holidays for Petes sake! Nobody
    notices if you dont, but you will notice when
    everyone comes back rested and refreshed and you
    are ready to collapse

  • Set boundaries around what youll do and stick to
  • While the 40/40/20 formula maybe helpful in
    organising your time, at some point you have to
    acknowledge that youre doing what you can and
    thats got to be good enough
  • Set specific times when you will conduct
    particular tasks such as answering emails,
    telephone calls or students questions
  • Make it clear to students when you will be
    available and when they can expect a response

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Everything in Moderation
  • Boice (2000) Everything in Moderation-
  • Avoid-
  • Rushing and binging to complete lectures
  • Leaving for class at the last minute still
    distracted by whatever you were doing beforehand
  • Beginning class late and impatiently, and then
    hurrying through with little time for students to
    reflect or participate
  • Leaving the most important information till the

Everything in Moderation
  • Avoid-
  • Expecting students to stay after the class to get
    critical information
  • Being everyones best friend or having an
    open-door policy instead build in time during
    lectures for student interaction
  • Volunteering to do too much work on a committee
    there are other members there, share !

  • Boice (1992) identified people with balance as
    quick starters who had the following
  • Closely organise their work week to be sure that
    they can balance the relationship between being
    a collaborative colleague, productive scholar
    and effective teacher
  • Prevent negative spillover into their family
    and private lives
  • Protect their private personal space and
  • Balance is possible when one is striving for
    competency but probably never possible when ones
    hidden agenda is perfection

  • Bedeian in Rhythms of Academic Life writes-
  • In my salad days, I could routinely spend 14-16
    hours a day locked in my study revising a
    textbook. The burnout that ultimately resulted,
    and the death of a well-known contemporary,
    actually found dead at his desk, occasioned a
    simple question did I want to spend the rest of
    my life writing textbooks? My answer was no

  • Boice (2000) Advice for New Faculty Members
  • Whether doing research, writing or preparing
    teaching prepare and present in brief, regular
    sessions instead of binges. That is, work in a
    pattern that not only affords a sense of being
    caught up but also allows time each day for other
    important things such as exercising, socializing
    and writing

Everything in Moderation
Be Proactive
Be Proactive
  • Volunteer for the things that you want to do
    (e.g. service responsibilities). This makes it
    easier to say no to things you dont want to do
  • If youre unsure of something, dont wait for
    someone to give you the answer, go and speak to
    your Chair or Dean, seek out the answer yourself
  • Bedeian notes that where you came from may have
    gotten you the job, but what you do once you
    arrives makes you successful-
  • Demonstrate independent scholarly ability and
    make sure you have publications that go well
    beyond your dissertation
  • A sustained level of performance is critical to
    success the best predictor of future
    performance is past performance

  • Assert yourself to protect yourself-
  • Preparing new courses from scratch is
    time-consuming. Make sure you have guarantee
    that youll teach the courses again in the future
  • If youre teaching a course that has been taught
    by someone else in the past, beg, borrow or steal
    the syllabus, notes, exams, anything you can get
  • Clearly explain to students why theyre
    completing course evaluations and that it can
    have an impact on your future
  • Publish, publish, publish publications are the
    currency of the realm. Publications mean
    visibility, esteem and career mobility (Bedeian)

  • Whicker et al in Getting Tenure suggest-
  • Dont try to run your department or University
    until after tenure (e.g. skip University policy
    meetings and use the time to develop your career
  • Be a good department citizen determine where,
    when and how to chip in and pull your weight
  • Manage your own professional image (image
    management is important, but not a substitute for
  • Develop a marketable record seek to develop a
    tenure dossier that is tenurable anywhere

  • Find ways of making one job contribute to two of
    your academic roles-
  • Co-author papers with students. You get points
    for working with them and they can do some of the
  • Volunteer for service assignments that will
    provide you with some leverage (either in terms
    of teaching, research or in meeting other faculty
  • Teach courses that are related to your research

  • Reinforce your research through your teaching and
  • When youre ready to begin research in a new
    area, offer to teach a course in the subject
    the background reading will work for both
  • Let your critics do some of the work often
    asking others to comment on your work in draft
    form may help to push your thinking forward

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  • Try and add something new to your CV every month
    if you do youre forced to think about what
    youve accomplished, how your CV is looking and
    what it says about you
  • Take advantage of any faculty development
    seminars or workshops that are available not
    only will you learn something, youll be able to
    meet other new faculty members who might spark
    some new ideas
  • Be creative in taking some shortcuts for
    instance, you might find students are asking you
    the same questions over and over. Develop an FAQ
    which you can email to them or post on your

  • Senior faculty at Stanford University suggest
    that new faculty do not do consulting until
    after you have tenure. It is a time-sink of the
    first order and does little or nothing for your
    research productivity
  • Do different things while you need to get your
    research started, most places will also be
    looking for teaching ability in early faculty
    careers dont sacrifice one for the other
    make sure youre teaching enough to give evidence
    of competence in this area
  • Continue your education whether its a course
    in statistics or new research methods, keep
    yourself fresh

Connections Contacts
Connections Contacts
  • Spend time with more senior faculty, take them to
    lunch, get to know them, pick their brains.
    Everyone likes to give advice
  • Become involved in your professional associations
    all sorts of career benefits can flow from
    being involved it helps in establishing a
    professional identity
  • View tenure as a political process get out
    there and meet the candidates, the voters, ensure
    they know your message, etc

Connections Contacts
  • Build positive relationships
  • Work collaboratively with your own colleagues or
    others in different departments/Universities
  • Achieve academic credibility particularly if
    you want to take on a leadership role someday in
    the future

  • Boice, Robert (1992). The New Faculty Member
    Supporting and Fostering Professional
    Development. Jossey-Bass.
  • Boice, Robert (2000). Advice for New Faculty
    Members. Allyn and Bacon.
  • Cooper, J.E. (2002). Tenure in the Sacred Grove
    Issues and Strategies for Women and Minorities.
    State University of New York.
  • Cooper, T.L. (2006). The sista' network
    African-American women faculty negotiating the
    road to tenure. Anker Publising Co.
  • Diamond, R. M.(1995). Preparing for promotion and
    tenure review A faculty guide. Anker Publishing
  • Frost, P.J. Taylor, M.S. (1996). Rhythms of
    Academic Life Personal Accounts of Careers in
    Academia. Sage Publications.
  • Gelmon, S. Agre-Kippenham, S. (2002).
    Promotion, Tenure and the Engaged Scholar
    Keeping the Scholarship of Engagement in the
    Review Process. AAHE Bulletin. Vol 54, No. 5.
  • Golde, C.M. (1999). After the Offer, Before the
    Deal. Academe. January-February, Vol 85, No. 1.
  • Moody, JoAnn (1997). Demystifying the Profession
    Helping Junior Faculty Succeed. University of New
    Haven Press.
  • Silverman, F. H. (1999). Publishing for tenure
    and beyond. Praeger.
  • Silverman, F. H. (2001). Teaching for tenure and
    beyond strategies for maximizing your student
    ratings. Bergin Garvey.
  • Silverman, F.H. (2004). Collegiality and Service
    for Tenure and Beyond Acquiring a Reputation as
    a Team Player. Praeger.
  • Whicker, M., Kronenfeld, J., Strickland, R.
    (1993). Getting Tenure. Sage Publications.