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156 votes
Accepted

I'm feeling discouraged after getting tenure; should I quit?

Many faculty get post-tenure blues. There are several causes: Burnout: You've been running at full speed for almost 30 years (k-12; college; grad school; post-docs; tenure track). Your brain needs a ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 40.4k
153 votes
Accepted

I am non-tenured and have been offered a tenure-track position at my current university, but I don't want to stay here long term. What should I do?

There's nothing to prevent you from accepting the TT position (which presumably carries better pay and more prestige) while still pursuing positions elsewhere. Indeed, having a tenure-track position ...
David Ketcheson's user avatar
106 votes

The position I applied for was advertised as Associate Professor with Tenure, but now they’re saying it’s tenure-track Associate Professor

Based on what you've said, In my view, there is a flaw in their advertising. The position description clearly stated "the University of X invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor ...
Pete L. Clark's user avatar
105 votes

Does tenure protection extend to professors saying that evolution is false in class?

Having tenure doesn't mean a professor can spend large amounts of time in a course talking about off-topic things. They still have a duty to teach the subject of the course. Have your wife talk to ...
Austin Henley's user avatar
87 votes

Why do most tenure at an institution less prestigious than the one where they began teaching, and than where they received their Ph.D?

This is called the "law of descending prestige." Most universities hire the most prestigious faculty they can. The number of PhDs from the top universities is larger than the number of job ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
85 votes
Accepted

Should a graduating doctoral student "care" about his or her advisor's tenure considerations?

I think your approach to this situation is a bit misguided. Yes, you should absolutely care about your advisor’s success (and he should care about yours). But “caring” doesn’t mean that you should ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
85 votes

PhD student pressured to fabricate data due to bad experiment design

This sounds more the fault of your advisors than yours for not equipping you with the supervision you need to perform your experiments up to standards. Do not under any circumstances falsify or ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 119k
76 votes

How do I reassure myself that I am a worthy candidate for a tenure-track position, when department would likely have interviewed me even if I wasn't?

There are two things worth keeping in mind. First, while it might be the case that the committee is "forced" to interview a female candidate, it might not. You have no actual evidence in either case, ...
Raghu Parthasarathy's user avatar
60 votes

How to deal with unavoidable failure in my first year of tenure-track applications?

I suggest dealing with the situation by revising your (misguided, IMO) definition of “failure”. Even if it is, as you say, “ineluctable”, that you will fail to land a tenure-track position this year, ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
59 votes

I have been asked to be on a tenure evaluation committee during my sabbatical, how should I respond?

There is nothing to "think through", the answer is very clear from your short description of the situation. Just say no. And use this as an opportunity to develop the skill of saying no, ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
58 votes
Accepted

What's the point of maintaining a CV after tenure?

Upon joining the club of those who've "made it," you find that there are further gradations. A tenured professor can safely breathe a sigh of relief for at least a year or two, but eventually she ...
Pete L. Clark's user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

What happens if you don't get tenure?

In my experience (in math, in the US), no you cannot remain in your current position (for long). While tenure is historically a means of protection for faculty from political forces, and thus a tool ...
Kimball's user avatar
  • 32.5k
56 votes

What's the point in hiring assistant professors instead of more experienced professors?

For example: Their salaries are far lower. (The discrepancy varies by department, high in the physical sciences, low in economics and business.) In fields that receive startup packages, their startup ...
Corvus's user avatar
  • 18.1k
56 votes

Large, non-random proportion of students not invited for evaluation of a course

If you can prove that 38% of the students where not even invited, you should go to the relevant committee and challenge the evaluation. Demand that they either invite the rest of the students as well (...
J Fabian Meier's user avatar
56 votes
Accepted

How do some PhD students get 10+ papers? Is that what I need for landing good faculty position?

I think at least part of the answer lies in different cultures across fields. I did my PhD in computer science/artificial intelligence. There a huge focus is on conference papers which tend to be ...
Martin Modrák's user avatar
56 votes

Is it appropriate to ask an interviewing institution to reimburse nonrefundable hotel costs after flight cancellation?

I think it is your responsibility to try to get any possible refund for the hotel (that is, contact the hotel and discuss your circumstances, even if their cancellation policy would seem to not allow ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 119k
54 votes

Is it common not be able to use tenured department colleagues to write letters of support for tenure?

Your department chair is 100% correct in asking you to remove letters from faculty internal to your university. She is doing you a favor by mentioning this to you! To be honest, that you think this ...
Pete L. Clark's user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

How to approach negotiating the start date of a tenure-track position?

Let me offer the perspective of a former department chair who was involved in hiring negotiations from the department side. Here are a few things to keep in mind: Hiring a faculty member is a long-...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
53 votes
Accepted

In US universities, are the sport coaches typically considered tenured professors?

No, athletic coaches are generally not considered faculty and do not have tenure. I've never heard of any place where they are. The conditions of their employment would be based on whatever ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

Why do most tenure at an institution less prestigious than the one where they began teaching, and than where they received their Ph.D?

Let's pick a real world example. MIT produces around 500 PhD graduates a year. At the same time MIT hires around 50 new professors per year. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4309283/ That ...
user2705196's user avatar
  • 5,389
49 votes

I'm feeling discouraged after getting tenure; should I quit?

It's hard to give concrete advice here because this is a very personal thing. First: It is quite common to feel empty when such a major goal have been achieved and probably you are left with no ...
Dirk's user avatar
  • 38.3k
48 votes

Backing out of a signed tenure track offer due to changing legislation that alters tenure and abolishes DEI

I'd guess that the administration will sympathize with you. There should be no problems withdrawing, especially if you point out your reasons. A tenure track position is supposed to lead to tenure and ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 367k
47 votes

How does a professor lose their tenure over a sex scandal which he was not involved in?

The Dean of the medical school is not being fired because he was involved in sexual crimes. He is being fired because he poorly handled the Title IX investigation. He utterly failed to ensure the ...
Fomite's user avatar
  • 52.1k
47 votes

Does tenure protection extend to professors saying that evolution is false in class?

Faculty at my university, and I would imagine at any large university in the US, are bound by the terms of a technical document with a title such as “Faculty Code of Conduct” or something similar. If ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
45 votes

Choosing between PhD students or postdocs as a lecturer

It obviously depends dramatically on your discipline and what you want to do with those positions. That being said, in most cases I would assume that the decision should either be to hire 2 students, ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
43 votes

How could a postdoc look competitive against a tenured professor?

You are a serious candidate You are. That is why the university is interviewing you. It would be a complete waste of time and resources otherwise. They liked your application materials and want to ...
rturnbull's user avatar
  • 3,784
43 votes

A way of getting tenure for a non-creative person

Q: is there a common name for this kind of transaction? Fraud.
GrotesqueSI's user avatar
  • 5,530
42 votes

PhD student pressured to fabricate data due to bad experiment design

Following up on @BrianKrause 's excellent answer. Do not present fake data as real. You might be able to write something useful and interesting with the data you have along with several different ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 36.5k
41 votes
Accepted

Is it common not be able to use tenured department colleagues to write letters of support for tenure?

Yes, totally common. The reason is that these people have an inherent conflict of interest: they would be judge (letter writer) and jury (get to vote on your case) at the same time. You will want to ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar

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