Saturday, April 29, 2006

Post-Tenure Anxiety

I had one of the faculty members in the sciences come see me this week. He and I were both part of the seven or so people who went up for tenure this year. Only three people got it. I was one; he was not. He is going to appeal his tenure decision. From what I could gather his approach was going to be that people in the sciences and humanities are judged on different standards. He wanted to know how many articles I'd published, how many conferences I had presented at, and how many posters (?) I'd prepared.

At first I was offended. I felt like he was questioning why I deserved tenure. I did eventually realize that he was more interested in trying to show that he had done comparable work and he too deserved tenure. But it still caused me some anxiety. Had I just squeaked by? Were other people out there looking at my case and wondering 'How did she get it?'

I don't think this question is supposed to trouble me now - I've earned my stripes, I've paid my dues - but it still does. I want to go back to my dossier and make my case even stronger. Point out the merit of my publications and the quality of the conferences I'd attended. I want to show that I didn't just luck in tenure, but earned it. I hope this feeling eventually goes away and that I grow comfortable with tenure.

No comments: