Presentation on theme: "The Faculty Member as Teacher and Scholar How to get tenure without losing your mind (or yourself!) in the process Or."— Presentation transcript:
The Faculty Member as Teacher and Scholar How to get tenure without losing your mind (or yourself!) in the process Or
My context Small, very selective liberal arts college Set in rural village (read: “middle of nowhere”) Excellent teaching is the norm and is expected by both the institution and the students. Student expectations for faculty availability are also high. Faculty are expected to maintain a scholarly program throughout their careers, but “scholarship” is broadly construed.
My experience I survived both tenure and promotion. I have served as department chair (twice) I have served on the college-wide tenure and promotion committee. I am the senior member of my dept, so I have spent a good portion of my career mentoring younger colleagues.
Balancing Act No. 1 Needs and the expectations of the institution The high mucky-mucks (e.g. adminstration, trustees) Your colleagues Your students Your dreams and professional aspirations... and your needs.
Balancing Act No. 2 Teaching Scholarship Service The rest of your life e.g. going to the grocery store, having breakfast, paying bills, walking the dog.
The Bad News Balancing Act No. 1 + Balancing Act No. 2 is a coupled, non- linear system. There is no analytic solution. It can exhibit chaotic behavior.
Implementing an Approximate Solution SEEK INFORMATION Ask lots of questions. Ask them early so that you can plan ahead. Ask the same questions many times, getting answers from lots of people. You will almost certainly find that you get different answers from different people (Solutions are not unique!)
Whom do I ask? Talk to the chair of your department. Talk to one or (preferably) more tenured members of your department. At a small college like mine... Talk to the Dean or Provost. Talk to faculty members outside your department. If you can swing it, talk to someone who has recently served on the promotion and tenure committee.
What do I ask? With respect to my work... my tenure... What are the priorities of the institution? What are the priorities of the department? What is my role as a member of the team? What is my role as an individual?
Teaching Expectations Take the initiative Find a mentor (there may be a mentoring system in place.) Ask one or more faculty colleagues to Go to have coffee or lunch to talk about teaching. (Maybe on a regular basis!) visit your classes Ask to visit your colleagues’ classes. (And then follow through!) VERY HIGH
Scholarship What is the role of scholarship? What sorts of things “count” (in addition to research papers in research journals)? Expository writing? Textbook authoring? Scientific consulting? (E.g. statistical consulting/work in industry) Research with students?
Service What kinds of opportunities are there for service? what faculty committees are there? do other sorts of things count? What? How are service to the department, service to the college as a whole, and (maybe) service to the community considered in T&P? What about service to student organizations?
Administrative details How does it all work? Who makes decisions about promotion and tenure? How are they made? If there is a promotion and tenure committee, how is that committee constituted? Who chooses the members, etc. Who will have input into your tenure decision? Math department colleagues? (presumably) Colleagues outside your department? Students? Evaluators from outside the institution? How are those people chosen? What form does their input take?
Ultimately… YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN SOLUTION The Good News Because solutions are not unique...it is almost always possible to find a path/role that will both lead to success and make you happy.