Open Access Tenure: Every Day
Earlier in the year I noted to myself that come April, I would need to think about my tenure process every day. It didn’t necessarily have to be a huge amount of thinking and some days it could be thinking though many it should be activity as well as though, but it had to be daily.
It’s mid-April now and while I’m not sure I’ve hit every single day, it’s certainly started to ramp up.
Why now? I’m coming to another crossroads: my next internal vote. Granted, the vote itself is not until next February (ish, I think, based on last year’s calendar), but there’s much to do in the interim.
My paperwork adviser from the P&T committee is retiring next month. Yes, this would be the third person on my P&T support team (two paperwork people and Madame Mentor) who have retired. I like to think it isn’t me personally…after all Madame Storyteller isn’t retiring until this fall, nearly five years after I left her august supervision. But that means as I’m starting the dossier process again, I’ll be switching around one adviser. In advance of that, I’m meeting with my current one in a couple of weeks as a kick start to all of this. Somewhere in the next few days my daily thinking will need to be the activity of starting to pile things up (electronically) to show her so that she can make recommendations.
There are a number of my colleagues who are heading into their first round of review this fall, so I’m not alone navigating the trepidation, though it’s a different round. I imagine there will be some mutual pulling-our-hair-out-over-coffee-while-wordsmithing happening around early October.
From here on out, it’s basically 2 years of constantly working on promotion and tenure concerns:
- April-August: start updating my statements (librarianship, research, service), list of accomplishments. (I’d include update my CV, but I keep a live running version of it and update at least once a month.)
- August-October: have my teaching observed, rewrite my statements 6 times. Try to find a smaller but still legible font to meet the 1 page limit.
- October-ish: Evaluation of Librarianship committee stuff, statement of librarianship, CV, and accomplishments should be finalized-mostly
- November: Obsess over dossier
- ~December 1: Turn in dossier
- December-February: Worry about the discussions in P&T committee and the vote
- February-May(ish): [assuming a positive vote] Start panicking–I mean preparing— for packets that go to external reviewers
- May-August: Worry about external reviewer comments that I will never see
- August-December: Sit under my desk eating Snickers bars* waiting for the next vote
- December: Final internal vote [includes external reviewers comments]
- January-April: [assuming a positive vote] Whatever other prep is necessary for my papers to go to campus. Somewhere in here (I assume) I’ll have to move my dossier from the 2015-2016 packet that I’m filling out currently to the 2016-2017 packet. They like to tweak things.
Somewhere around April 2017 my case should go before campus and at that point I truly can’t do anything else with it.
What is not listed but inherent throughout this is (a) continue researching, writing, and presenting–we can include additional papers up until things go to campus; (b) everything else in my “real” job; (c) keep doing all the service stuff.
That’s my thinking about tenure for today. Now it is back to obsessing over when I’ll hear back from that journal that we sent a paper to and it’s out for review and why haven’t we heard yet and maybe the email system is broken and it’s updated only on their website, I’ll just log in and check one more time.
*Madame Mentor said she opted for M&Ms during this period.