Two Takes on Tenure

Let’s not waste any more time and effort perpetuating a system that appears flawed in nearly every way. Let’s not let any more committed, effective, engaged professors go because their contributions didn’t fit into our narrow system of what counts as scholarship or national reputation. It’s past time to overturn a system created nearly 80 years ago and determine what true impact means in today’s world of higher education.

-from Leah Wasburn-Moses’ “We Make Tenure Decisions Unfairly. Here’s a Better Way.The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2018.

We regret to inform you:
Today’s not your day
Though you’ve sweated and labored
Every August through May

You have brains in your head
And a CV for miles
(Or so we have read
In your annual files)
But tenure is coming, just a few more years—
And the shit you’ll do, why, it’ll bring them to tears!

You’ll look up old colleagues just to smugly inquire
How their tenure clock’s coming and when it expires
And to show off your new status as you sign-off:
“Check the signature, bitch — ASSOCIATE PROF!”

With no committees to impress or advisers to flatter
You’ll find yourself writing about subjects that matter
While your pre-tenure colleagues all scoff and condemn
(And dream of the day when it happens to them.)

Such opinions you’ll have — in public, and more!
You’ll get suspended from Twitter for starting a war
About political subjects, about this, about that…
“D’Souza’s a moron”; “Pinker’s a hack.”

-from Sheila Liming’s “Oh, The Shit You’ll Do After You’re Tenured!McSweeney’s, March 21, 2018.

~ by Michael Leong on March 28, 2018.

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