Open Access Tenure Archive

Open Access Tenure: What Goes Forth

Posted November 7, 2016 By Abigail Goben

Last week I received notification from my Dean that I passed the final Library vote on my promotion and tenure dossier with the unanimous support from my colleagues. Now, I go to campus.

A friend asked me what exactly those words mean (all English but in that order?). All tenured Library faculty at UIC have read through my papers, my files, letters of recommendation, etc–and have voted on me three times. This was the final vote and now my dossier will be proofread, floofed, and edited a smidgeon more before a committee of tenured faculty members at the UIC Campus level will read it and vote on it. This means faculty from Chemistry, Dentistry, Urban Planning, etc reading, evaluating and voting.

Because there are so many disciplines and as the standards for each discipline wildly vary, I will be evaluated only by my college’s standards–the Library standards. Those go with my packet and someone from another college will do a fine tooth comb reading and make a presentation to the committee, the rest of whom do a lighter reading. So, a  Bioengineering faculty member or a History professor may be finding out a lot about research data management policy and RDM self-education. The tenured Library faculty member who sits on the campus committee cannot speak for or against my case. They can only answer direct questions. I’m told in the past, they had to stand in the hallway during the discussion of the candidate.

I’ve not gone back through all the forms again in the past couple of weeks. I need to–one more time–and to email my long-suffering paperwork person and the Dean’s assistant with any little tweaks. But as promised, I’ve got a public version of my dossier ready for anyone who is interested in reading it.

Goben 6Y Public Dossier

As usual, this isn’t entirely what I turned in. Works in progress have been removed and you’ll need to go through my CV on my About Me page to get to full text of my research.

My statements have been drastically overhauled, so if you’re interested in seeing the biggest changes, look there. My committee participation list is mostly just longer, as is my teaching list.

Countdown to the Board of Trustees vote (which comes after campus vote in February) will continue through the end of July 2017. But things are moving forward and the future looks bright!

Open Access Tenure: Hurdle In Sight…

Posted October 24, 2016 By Abigail Goben

Thursday is the last Library vote on my tenure dossier. It’s my final College vote where my tenured Library colleagues will recommend to my Dean whether or not my package goes forward to campus in January. They’ve been deliberating all fall, so hopefully it will be a fast meeting? I don’t know when exactly I’ll get the results, probably within a week or two.

My external reviewer letters were back in September* and the fall has seen myriad rounds of edits and not a little process frustration squeezed into the usual chaos that is Fall Semester. Teaching, new students, new research, new projects–and proofreading my papers another time, one more time, tweaking a date here when something comes out, moving two more book chapters from the accepted column to the published column.

At the moment I feel very abstracted from the process. My “final” dossier went to the library a week and a half ago and since then I’ve been through a conference, a personal trip, and a B1G Homecoming Weekend (minus the actual football game itself). I know the vote is coming but it still feels far away. That will probably change Thursday morning.

I am putting together my 6Y-Public-Dossier for those who are following along and I’ll have that up for download after I hear about the vote.

In the interim, I’m not writing enough…but what academic ever is?

*I wish I could read those. Could they strip out the names?

Open Access Tenure: View From the Six Month Mark

Posted June 8, 2016 By Abigail Goben

Approximately six months from now my Dean will send off my dossier to campus and I will not have any further opportunity to update my case.

There are still a number of big important dates to face down between now and then and considering how fast the first five months of the year have gone, I don’t expect that the rest of 2016 is going to seem particularly long.

Right now I’m working on the packet for my external reviewers, which will go out around the time I leave to attend ALA Annual in about two weeks.

For that I’m preparing:

  • My research statement– updates from things I’ve done in the past six months and where further research is going. This will be the final version of this statement, unedited after it goes to them so it has to be shiny.
  • My interdisciplinary statement — same thing, only including all the dentistry research, and particularly including the paper that I got pulled into after my 5Y dossier went in. I didn’t even know that project existed and now we’re in revisions and hoping for an acceptance in August/September.
  • PDFs of all everything I’ve published (just have to check the folder where I keep all of those)
  • CV — This will be easiest as I update it regularly. One addition: I don’t put “papers under review” on my vita as it’s an openly readable Google doc and I don’t want a reviewer stumbling across it and unblinding themselves accidentally. Because I cannot send those manuscripts to the reviewers, I will put them here in addition to the other stuff so they can see what’s coming next.

Reviewer letters are due back by September 1. I will never see the feedback nor know who those reviewers are, unless they happen to self-identify to me after the process.

We just got the draft calendar for this year, it won’t be finalized until later in the fall but I have three deadlines before then, so I’m working from that.

Other deadlines:

  1. August 19: Draft of my full dossier goes to Library P&T. They get to tell me to change commas, move clauses, etc. I can agree or not agree to their suggestions.
  2. September 12: The Dean emails my co-authors and asks about my contributions to our papers. Which reminds me, I have another set of co-authors I have to warn about that.
  3. September 16: Second draft of dossier goes to Library P&T. Again more revisions that I can accept or not (I have heard rumors of “Move X from Page Y to Page Z”–two weeks later– “Move X from Page Z to Page Y”… ) 
  4. October 14: Dossier goes to the Library P&T again.
  5. November 2: Final Vote by Library P&T
  6. January 2: The Dean sends my dossier to campus P&T

There’s a little bit of space from 11/2-1/2 where, if anything else is accepted or submitted, I can update that but from what I can tell things should be done minus reading 50 more times for typos.

So that’s the current tenure hurdles, let me know if you have process questions!

Open Access Tenure: Out of My Hands Briefly

Posted November 30, 2015 By Abigail Goben

And with a link to a Box folder, the dossier is turned in once more. I have no more deadlines to meet for my 5Y year and that feels a little odd. Very nice–absolutely–but odd.

I’ve again made most of my dossier public, if you’d like to read or review any of it.

What is included:

  • my CV (always public, see the link to the live version on my About Me page)
  • a list of annotated publications and their impact (note the Altmetrics!)
  • my statements
  • my librarianship accomplishments (the things that comprise my day job)
  • the campus forms (teaching evals, lists of committees, etc)

What isn’t there:

  • a folder of PDFs of all of my published work. It’s all open, save one book chapter, but the committee requests PDFs of everything so each committee member need not go chasing it down.
  • research in draft– I’ve got some book chapters sitting with editors and a couple of papers underway. Anything submitted, P&T got a PDF, anything underway they got a one page summary.
  • anything written by anyone else. We don’t have/recruit external letters of support, so I don’t have those. My peer teaching evaluation and my evaluation of librarianship are written by colleagues here and while I have a copy, it is strongly preferred that I don’t post those externally.

So now you’re done, right?  If I had a dollar for each time on this question, my student loan balance would be a lot lower.

Not yet, though I am at something of a brief pause.  On January 28, the University Library Promotion and Tenure Committee will vote on my dossier. I’ll meet with my Dean a few weeks after that (calendar tetris, woohoo!) to discuss the outcome of the vote. That vote is the faculty’s confidence in whether I should be submitted for external review.**

Then my Paperwork person will spend the rest of spring with me fluffing things, sending out any more papers I can get finished and accepted, and the Library trying to identify who they’d like as my external reviewers–who will then have the summer to read my research and comment on it.  AFAIK, they get that folder of PDFs, my CV, and my research statement. Nothing else.

The letters come back in the fall and then on November 4 is the final internal vote (4 internal votes altogether). It’s the 5.5 vote, if you will, and is the last make or break before sending my dossier to campus. Then some further formatting etc etc etc and somewhere around the first of January 2017 my dean will send my dossier to campus for a vote by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee in February 2017.

Head spinning yet? Me too.

But today, it’s out of my hands. I might get a question or two from the committee but I don’t need to wallow over anything for a few weeks, just forward any particularly interesting updates to my paperwork person as she prepares to present my case. Now I just get to focus on writing the two papers I’ve been neglecting and a to-do list that keeps threatening to drown me.


**If I fail that or any other votes, I’ll get a one year terminal contract starting with the next academic year (Aug 2016 or 2017) and I’ll be actively job hunting. 



Open Access Tenure: Fill out the Forms

Posted November 3, 2015 By Abigail Goben

Last night, I finally made the first pass through the dreaded MS Word document known as this year’s tenure forms. I was on deadline to send a draft to my paperwork person and the time had finally come.

For those playing along, I’m prepping for my fifth year review, which is my third internal/”my college only” review. Since April, I’ve been hacking away at bits and pieces of the paperwork and forms. Everything will go off to the P&T chair at the end of this month.

Some of this has been much easier this time. I have spent five years working with the women who are on my Evaluation of Librarianship Committee, so it was more of an opportunity to chat with them and share all the accomplishments I’ve had, rather than the terror of the first round that I went through during my third year. I’d already written my statements of librarianship, research, and service once, so that’s been more about overhaul rather than complete invention. [I mentioned at a meeting that it felt daunting debating a complete rewrite and several senior faculty assured me that they expect to see an updated version, not entirely new.] Only my interdisciplinary statement was in its infancy.

And so I opened this year’s Word document and then my 3Y Word document, which some of you may have downloaded and read a couple of years ago. To my relief, the majority of going through the 45 pages was copying and pasting and marking checkboxes that are formatted oddly.  I think everyone at my institution is looking forward to the day when we get an online system that will update this automatically and you can just click through a web-based form. I hear there is ($$$) software out there that will do this but with the current state budget…. A colleague in another college told me that they are pretty sure that compiling the tenure dossier for internal review last year cost the equivalent time of writing a paper. It sounds about right when I think about all of the time spent on checkboxes and such.

But for this round it wasn’t recreation of the wheel. And so by just after midnight, I sent off an email detailing various changes to discuss on Thursday and realized that I’m at about the 85% mark.

I mention my paperwork person–that’s assigned here. In addition to a research mentor (who tries valiantly to rein in my impulses to do everything), my paperwork person is there to answer questions about forms or statements or process and I’ve been throwing a lot of things at her over the course of the fall. She also, partially at my request earlier this summer, has held me accountable to deadlines. Every two weeks, something has been due to her. It didn’t have to be totally done but the drafts needed to be solid. As a result, I was ready several weeks early for my Evaluation of Librarianship committee (they get 1/3rd of the documents in almost-done-draft form) and now, November 3, I’m nearly done.

Of course, I still have multiple outstanding research projects that everyone would love to see submitted or in semi-final manuscript format before the end of the month and that will take up all spare moments between now and then, but the paperwork isn’t the mountain it might otherwise be. That counts as a win in my book.