Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Can You Every Really Know the Number?

"My chair told me I need x number of publications prior to tenure."

"A senior faculty said I need to publish X number of articles to be promoted. "

"My dean said x."

"The provost x."

"Nowhere is it written down; what do I do?"

Sound familiar?

The truth is, there really is never going to be an exact number to count on.  People move on. New players have new expectations. Universities change their focus. While it is important to have a sense of the expectations from various players in your university, it can be an energy suck to spend too much time trying to figure this out. Best to focus on developing the skills, practices, and habits you need in order to shatter that mythical bar. Who wants to live in constant anxiety and fear.

If Rich's be in the process and develop yourselves mumbo jumbo is not working for you, if you really need a number to go with, try this. Figure out the mean of the various numbers you have been told. Take this number, and increase it by fifty percent. Make that your goal. Subtract this from the number of articles you currently have. Divide that number by how many years you have left before going up for tenure.

That is the minimum number of articles you should publish each year. Given that each article may not get published, especially while your figuring all this out, add fifty percent more to this number, at a minimum.

Now, be in the process and develop your skills :)

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