Ten Simple Ways NOT to Get Tenure

in Articles from our Newsletter

The following list of ways to avoid tenure is by no means exhaustive. If you want to add some others, I will post them in later issues of this newsletter.

  1. Avoid having a passion for your area of specialization. If you do have passion, hide it. This will take care of most of the remaining items.

  2. Be aloof when around colleagues or students, either in your own institution or when at conferences. Socializing can be such a timewaster, can’t it?

  3. When preparing to teach a class, spend hours preparing each one, jamming as much information in as possible. It’s important that your students admire how much you know.

  4. Read your lectures; read them as fast as you, in order to fit in all that information. You’re not there to entertain the students. Besides, you learned this material the hard way, why should it be fun for them?

  5. Let a couple of years go by before you publish anything. You need time to get settled. You’ll have plenty of time before that tenure committee meets.

  6. Keep all your thinking and writing under wraps. If you reveal your ideas to peers or to more senior colleagues, they might criticize or steal them.

  7. When writing a paper, be sure to have read (and memorized, if possible) every last article on your subject or anything related to your subject before you begin your first draft.

  8. On second thought, skip the first draft. Try to write a perfect paper the first time. Start by editing each sentence at least 3 times before going on to the next.

  9. Don’t bother looking for a mentor. You can figure it all out by yourself. Besides, once they get to know you, they might not think that highly of you.

  10. Why look at the promotion and tenure guidelines at your institution? They’re pretty much the same everywhere. You’ll cross that bridge when you come to it (if there is still a bridge when you get there.)

If you follow all 10 of these steps to the letter, you will be absolutely assured of NEVER getting tenure.

If, however, you DO wish to get tenure, keep reading these newsletters and the articles at Academic Ladder!

© Gina Hiatt, PhD.
Gina is a dissertation and tenure coach. She helps academics, from grad students wondering about their dissertation topic to faculty members who want to maintain a high level of research and writing, to reach their goals more quickly and less painfully.

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