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Sigh

I'm working my third Saturday and at least it's quiet because there's a football game, so it's largely innocent tourists and I can do homework in between bouts of being cheerily helpful. Saturdays are boring though because none of my friends are here and it's lonely.

In cheerier news, the lovely avictoriangirl made me an epically appropriate icon. *loves*

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( 9 comments — Add your .02 )
syredronning
Oct. 15th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
Okay, I ask now - what exactly does "getting tenure" mean? My dictionaries are not helpful..

And whatever it is, good luck *G*
caitri
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Okay, so tenure is when you've earned your job security as an academic. Basically, a university will hire you on a sort of probationary basis: typically your tenure clock is five years. During that five years you are expected to teach, publish, provide service at the university and national levels (in my case, at the university level I serve on committees and teach freshman seminars, at the national level I'm an editor for an international journal), and so forth. At the end of your "clock" you go up for tenure: you present on what you have done to your department, and all the tenured people cross-examine you in person, and then examine your accumulated dossier of work, plus the letters of review that they solicited from people at other institutions. And then they have ten days to vote on whether to keep you.

Now there's all kinds of stuff if they vote no, but I'm going to skirt over it. Suffice to say, It Ain't Good.

Now if they've voted yes, your Dean writes a letter and it goes up to the Dean of Faculties and the University Provost and President, who will or will not agree, but typically do because the Departments have their own standards etc. Finally the Board of Regents will confer, and the same again.

In short: you get judged by hundreds of people, some who know you and many more who do not. And if you are found wanting, you have a year to find a job elsewhere. If you are kept, you get a raise and it is expected you will do Bigger Things: write books instead of articles, do more impressive stuff, etc.

There is also the option of, after tenure, moving from the Associate to the Full Professor, where it is similar but even more difficult because you have to prove that you have a world-wide reputation as a scholar of renown. Some people never do it.

Make sense? It is difficult and stressful. Now, true to Kirk-form I'm also living dangerously because I am Doing It In Three: I'm in my third year and I'm going up early (first person in my department to do that in third year since the 1990s, to give you an idea of how rare this is) because I'm BAMF. *G*
syredronning
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
It makes sense, thank you for the explanation! :)
caitri
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
No probs, academia doesn't really make sense if you're not in it. Hell, sometimes it doesn't make sense if you ARE. ;)
syredronning
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
I've been part of German academia once but a) not on that level and b) the US system seems to work differently :)
caitri
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
Well it also varies a lot depending on exactly what position you have. For instance, an Assistant Professor is eligible for tenure but a Visiting Assistant Professor almost never is. Instructors and Lecturers can typically be promoted but not tenured. Etc. etc. I know the ranks in the English system are also different and only sort of analagous. For instance, if I understand correctly an English lecturer = instructor OR assistant prof but a Reader = Visiting Assistant Prof. Or something..
avictoriangirl
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
*TACKLE SMOOSH* ♥!!!
caitri
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
*cuddles happily*
amine_eyes
Oct. 15th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
*squishes*

Hope it goes well hun :)))))
( 9 comments — Add your .02 )

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