• October 31, 2014
October 31, 2014, 1:20:34 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
Pages: 1 [2] 3
  Print  
Author Topic: Post Tenure Let Down  (Read 40710 times)
canadatourismguy
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,263


« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2012, 7:06:37 AM »

I think a better analogy could be a relationship. 

Think of getting TT interview as a first date - you are trying to figure out if you are a good pair together.  Any little thing could disqualify you from getting a second date but when it works well - you just know it feels right.

First year on the TT is like a first year dating.  Everything is new and exciting but also still a little dangerous.  Couples can break up quickly in a first year for really inconsequential reasons.  You work hard to please each other as a result.

Third year review is like getting engaged.  You know by then whether you like each other by then.  You have a general idea of each other's faults and whether you could live with them.  You start to get serious about a long term relationship.

Tenure is like the wedding.  You have talked about it, annoyed your friends and family with talk about its planning and had a nice time during the event.  If you break up now, it is going to be bad but you really think about do you want to be with this person forever? 

After the wedding you go on the honeymoon (sabbatical) and everything is nice and relaxing.  You come back and think, what now?  As you

Promotion to Full is like the seven year itch.  Lots of marriages dissolve then but those who last through it - tend to be together forever.

Post-Tenure Review - You know each other inside out.  Sometimes you become a adorable older couple and other times you become the old crotchety one. 

Hummmm.....
Logged

On preview:  Candadiantourismguy is a subversive of the first order.
nottooinlovewacademe
Full Professor
Junior member
**
Posts: 52

Full Professor


« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2012, 2:57:48 PM »

Totally normal and did not stop with sabbatical. During sabbatical I filled out an application for another degree. Everyone thought I was crazy, not so, two years later with another degree in hand, I became very productive. If you are going to produce less immediately after, then take on a task (not a degree necessarily that will be different.). This is before ou get sucked into two many committees.
Soon you'll think about being full professor, back to the same, this time I took my next sabbatical before I applied.

Forgot, this is the time to give back to your family or to have one.
Logged
tuxthepenguin
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,575


« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2012, 5:57:41 PM »

For me it was Pre rather than Post Tenure Let Down. The short story is that I realized an academic job was not right for me. I was not nervous heading into the tenure decision and didn't care once I got it.

I've talked to others who had post tenure let down. It seemed to be the same thing: "That's it? That's why I went to grad school, busted my butt for more than a decade, sacrificed my personal life, moved around the country, and took on all the stress? Seriously? And now this is my salary?" They just didn't bother to think about until after they got tenure.
Logged
clean
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,375


« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 12:20:56 AM »

I went through it.

here was my story:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,27181.msg366843/topicseen.html#msg366843
Logged

"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader
soymilk
Member
***
Posts: 142


« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 12:23:55 PM »

I am finding the interpersonal relationships post-tenure to be a bit hard to navigate. Senior faculty who were actually kind enough not to tell me when I  *()*(sed them off for things I said pre-tenure, now seem to want to tell me at every opportunity when I am the least bit annoying to them. Sometimes I do the same. And this is happening before I even get appointed to any nasty committees like P&T.
As if this was not bad enough, unlike VP, no one has even tried to appropriate my moniker.
Logged
southerntransplant
A man on a porcupine fence and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2012, 9:17:29 AM »

I've recently been notified of the Board's decision, so I haven't had a chance to experience the let-down yet - there have been too many other things clogging my inputs. However, upthread two things were mentioned:

 1) learning to love your field again
 2) choosing to research the things you want

These resonate because a major focus for the past 17 years (six here then 11 at a soft-money lab) was raising funds to do research. Getting the grant will keep me buoyed for days, and the pressure of getting enough funding in my R1 STEM department seemed to stoke this particular fire (I admit that, when I look at colleagues' web pages and CVs, I check out the funding record first.) It can be blinding, though, because it's easy to get caught up in the "yeah, we can totally do this and we'll sort out a lot of the details later and let's just plop a nice graphic in our methods section" way of writing proposals near deadline.

One aspect of the research life I need to embrace more often is simply to chase a good idea around for awhile - and _really_ chase it around - before encasing it in a proposal. One possible way of making this happen is to do enough research in a new area to be able to write a paper or two on it, then go chase funding. It won't work for everything, nor will it eliminate the need to write proposals, but I'm not thinking of it as a proposal-generating strategy, or really even as a paper-or-grad-student-generating strategy. It's more of a longer term, career-management strategy - that doing this (essentially item 2) will help me get to item 1.
Logged

"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
usukprof
Not sure he's been around long enough to really be a
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 10,607

.


« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2012, 3:14:24 PM »

One aspect of the research life I need to embrace more often is simply to chase a good idea around for awhile - and _really_ chase it around - before encasing it in a proposal. One possible way of making this happen is to do enough research in a new area to be able to write a paper or two on it, then go chase funding. It won't work for everything, nor will it eliminate the need to write proposals, but I'm not thinking of it as a proposal-generating strategy, or really even as a paper-or-grad-student-generating strategy. It's more of a longer term, career-management strategy - that doing this (essentially item 2) will help me get to item 1.

I've done this a couple of times successfully.
Logged

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.  --Dean Vernon Wormer
voxprincipalis
Foxaliciously Cinnamon-Scented (and Most Poetic)
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,031

Has potentially infinite removable wallets


WWW
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2012, 8:18:05 PM »

Bump.

I was wondering how others in the "post-tenure letdown" camp were feeling about the start of the new school year. Any changes? Do you feel better? Worse? Still letdown? Still frustrated? Newly energized?

VP
Logged

larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 22,998

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 8:54:10 PM »

Congrats on tenure, and to Voxy as well.

Midcareer is a time to reposition. What are your passions, interests, ambitions? Sometimes it takes a while to figure these things out--and that is OK as well. Maybe some of the effort that you have been putting into publishing will now go to woodworking, or volunteering in your community, or fly fishing. Don't feel guilty--you are withdrawing some of thousands of unpaid hours that you have banked.

Or maybe you have a new academic interest? I moved from ethnohistory to public and digital history after tenure. A change is as good as a rest, they say.

The big change with tenure (and it is huge) is that you get to decide for yourself what is important.
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
wellfleet
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,817


« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2012, 9:05:35 PM »

I feel rested, having taken most of the summer off.  Now that classes have started again, I feel more visible on campus, and like some folks' expectations of me have, if anything, risen. But I also feel empowered to make my own choices (to some extent--no going wild here!) a bit more, and to be more focused on my own long-term sustainability and production, while still in service to the institution. As a TT person, I felt as though I had to jump on every publication/teaching/service opportunity that came my way, without regard to my own long-term plans. I am trying hard to temper those reactive impulses, and I am getting some support.

On the other hand, there's a lot of change going on at my shop, and even the long-timers are feeling unsettled, so it's not just post-tenure letdown and it's not just me.
Logged

One of the benefits of age is an enhanced ability not to say every stupid thing that crosses your mind. So there's that.
southerntransplant
A man on a porcupine fence and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2012, 10:46:43 PM »

I'm heading into my first semester as a tenured prof, and I made the mistake of not really taking any time off over the summer, so productivity kind of waned coming into August. I'm hoping getting in front of a class and having fun with it buoys me up a bit. I haven't yet thought about how to find the One Thing that will re-ignite my passion for this field - and I kind of need to, because our ranks are shrinking quickly and I don't want what I love about my work get snuffed out by increased workloads and committee assignments.
Logged

"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
minimimi
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,415


« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2012, 7:59:05 AM »

Bump.

I was wondering how others in the "post-tenure letdown" camp were feeling about the start of the new school year. Any changes? Do you feel better? Worse? Still letdown? Still frustrated? Newly energized?

VP

I was going to say I feel a bit premature weighing in on this, since the toner on my letter has only barely cooled, and while I did finish an article over the summer, it felt like a convalescence. It was either larryc or seniorscholar who said that getting tenure would feel like recovering from a six-year (or longer, for most of us who were itinerant ntt workers for years before landing a tt berth) flu. Now comes the scourge of service.

Yet I've felt the academic part of my soul expanding. This realization came upon me suddenly this week. Without thinking about it, I'm more solicitous with this year's crop of new colleagues, and I'm genuinely happy to pitch in for ad hoc things needed by colleagues I've known for years. There's just not as much at stake personally, although there is so much more at stake, because now I'm here for real to build my department, my university, and my profession.

Perhaps for this reason, perhaps not, I share southerntransplant's listlessness. Even though I intend to go guns ablazing for full, I'm often disturbed how morose I can get, when I think of a future drained by meetings and paperworkóbut also books to be written and people to guide into their interesting future selves.

This rambles, and I suspect the career will as well.
Logged
litdawg
Ambidextrous Humanities Player
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,001

God & the CHE fora help those who help themselves.


« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2012, 10:39:14 AM »

and people to guide into their interesting future selves.

Love this line.
Logged

The heart of the wise man is tranquil.  Chuang Tzu
canadatourismguy
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,263


« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2012, 5:26:10 PM »

To be honest, I did very little this summer.  It was nice to actually take some time to be a dad.  It does feel strange not beginning teaching.  I will also admit however, I thought I would miss it a lot more than I do.  I am excited about the research project I am about to start.   It has been 10 years in the making as I could never get it and a full teaching load done at the same time. 

I am also doing an externship at a large resort.  It is nice being in a corporate environment again especially knowing that I only have to be part time there for two months.  They are using me as a sounding board and as a strategic consultant.  It is fun the work in such an environment again. I enjoy the people who I will be working with.  I love my department,

Overall, it is nice to be able to get some better balance to life.  The lack of stress has been surprisingly freeing.

Logged

On preview:  Candadiantourismguy is a subversive of the first order.
southerntransplant
A man on a porcupine fence and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2012, 9:47:47 AM »

Yet I've felt the academic part of my soul expanding. This realization came upon me suddenly this week. Without thinking about it, I'm more solicitous with this year's crop of new colleagues, and I'm genuinely happy to pitch in for ad hoc things needed by colleagues I've known for years. There's just not as much at stake personally, although there is so much more at stake, because now I'm here for real to build my department, my university, and my profession.

This.

I have noticed a greater sense of belonging since the decision came through. I don't look at senior colleagues as though they were evaluating me anymore - I note here that they have always been relatively friendly and not dismissive of my junior status - but more as actual colleagues. And I also do feel like I have a role to play in the department, and that my role is important in how the department is perceived and how it progresses.

That, I will say, is nice.
Logged

"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
Pages: 1 [2] 3
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.