Saturday, May 21, 2016

"March" toward full professor

Perhaps not the best metaphor, but lets roll with it and see what I can do. If writing is a method of inquiry, which I believe it is, and if the purpose of writing as a process is to penetrate the phenomena under consideration, than starting with a prompt such as one word is one means in.

March,  verb, Merriam-Webster: To move along steadily usually with a rhythmic stride and in step with others. To move in a direct purposeful manner. To make steady progress.

The march toward full profession. Yes, it demands a steady movement, movement over time, and most certainly, a steady rhythm if it is to work well. In step with others? In some ways, yes. Showing empowering leadership with others (not over others), service befitting of a senior scholar and a good citizen. But perhaps that is where in step with others can stop. It is your career, and the essence of academic freedom is that once you are tenured YOU get to make choices for your own career. If you are productive over time, in areas of your choosing, than you get to move toward full.

Steady, measured, consistent. These are often difficult for some new assistant professors who frantically pushed toward tenure during their last few years on the tenure track. Many got off to slow starts during their first couple (or few), and so their final push toward promotion was a painful, anxiety ridden path. Once tenured, there is a tendency to crash and burn. They let it all go, and then? Hard to get back into the writing and research groove.

Some, also, never really learned good method of writing productivity, and while they have published a fair amount, they really have not mastered methods of producing articles or books. It is all effort, and little efficiency.

And then, the long stalled associate professor. Ridden with shame for not being productive, they have long since given up on the possibility of their final promotion.  They push their shame under the carpets of defensiveness, self deprecation, and other strategies of blame. Who needs it anyhow, right? So little extra money, so much work to get there.


Ok, perhaps I am deviating from my initial metaphor, but it really was only a writing prompt anyhow. I have been a bit stalled on my blog of late, and so, I gave myself a writing prompt this morning, and all of you get to (sic are forced?) to be witness to my process.

That said, I am going to be writing more blog posts about moving toward full professor over the next few weeks. Not the only posts I hope to make, but I will make a few on the topic, so stay tuned Associate Profs (and those about to be!)

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