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Author Topic: Beyond Tenure: Associate to Full Prof.  (Read 30964 times)
totoro
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« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2012, 11:48:17 PM »

At Paddington U., a midsize master's comprehensive on the east coast, you can apply for full after five or six years. I've been associate for five years, I think, and am of two minds about going up for full. I'm lazy, so I don't want to gather documents and put together a whole new file like I had to do for tenure. :)  Also, the raise is only $1500, I think. And being full doesn't really entitle you to any other "perks" that associates don't have, except that full profs in my department vote other associates up for full prof.

I can understand that the increment at the point of promotion is small, but is there an appreciable gap between the average salary of associate vs. full professors where you're at? In my department, the highest paid associate professor is probably in the low $100K, and the highest paid full professor is in the low $200K, but our promotion bump is of the order of $4K. So, fixating on the bump at the point of promotion obscures the fact that staying at associate professor essentially caps your salary to that of the lowest paid full professor, whereas the salary of a full professor is in principle without limit.

That depends on the department. I was a tenure track associate prof brought in at a salary just above the worst paid full prof and not much more than half the best paid full prof.
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mleok
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« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2012, 4:45:06 AM »

That depends on the department. I was a tenure track associate prof brought in at a salary just above the worst paid full prof and not much more than half the best paid full prof.

Yes, but your salary reflects your status as an experienced, energetic, externally sourced faculty member, and so the salary dynamics would be quite different from that for a perpetual associate professor. Never seek promotion, and eventually your salary will stagnate until it is less than the lowest paid full professor's salary.

Why should rank matter if you're research active, and pull your weight service wise? Precisely because by not seeking promotion to full professor, you're not really pulling your weight in terms of service, since you're often ineligible for some committees or service assignments.
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janewales
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« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2012, 11:11:47 AM »

Thanks obprof and mleok for showing me the error in my thinking. mleok, no associate professor in my department makes in the low $100Ks. I don't even think that the highest paid associate makes in the low $80K. You must not be in the humanities. :)  Or maybe you are.  The people in your department are lucky!

I'm in the humanities, and our associates do top out in the low $100s. The fulls sit anyway from the slightly less low 100s, to I think about 170K. Salary compression has affected the top end: starting salary this year is 88K, so newer hires move in on the salaries of people who've been around for a while pretty quickly.

All of which is another reason why the move to full is important financially at my institution. There's a big difference between being an associate at 102K and a full at 103K, because the full can immediately make an argument for a salary anomaly adjustment, to correct for the effects of compression. For now at least, there is a pot of money set aside for that purpose.
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oldfullprof
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« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2012, 12:23:47 PM »

Oh well.  I'm a full and I get about 70K base.  Must be nice.

(This is around what I was getting in 1990 pre-PhD as a marketing director, with no inflation adjustment.)
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Taste o' the Sixties
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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2012, 4:22:35 PM »

I think probably the best explanation I have heard is that "tenure shows you have potential, full professor shows you have achieved excellence."  (R1)

Where I am, we view getting tenure as the end game (not to say people are encouraged to coast once they get it by any means) but there isn't any assumption that you will put in your name from promotion beyond that. It such a high bar to reach that only a small number do, and out of those that do, not all get it.  You have to prove that you have continued to meet all expectations for teaching, research and service - and exceed beyond them, especially in the area of research, making a national/international impact.  There have been rare cases - and not in a while  - where I have heard some people obtaining it in under 10 years after tenure, most wait more then 15 before submitting, and even then it is only when their departments tell them to go ahead.
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mleok
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« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2012, 8:55:04 PM »

I think probably the best explanation I have heard is that "tenure shows you have potential, full professor shows you have achieved excellence."  (R1)

These days in a R1, getting a tenure-track job demonstrates that you have potential (of being a star), and tenure indicates that you've achieved excellence.

Perhaps this is also field specific, but in my discipline, it isn't uncommon for highly productive faculty to be promoted to full professor within 10 years of the PhD, and that's the benchmark I would use for being on the fast track at a R1.

Indeed, places like Harvard, Caltech, and Oxford have essentially eliminated the associate professor (or equivalent) rank.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 8:58:21 PM by mleok » Logged
totoro
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« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2012, 10:06:38 PM »

I have a colleague at Oxford who is a reader - so they haven't abolished it totally. He would be for sure already be full professor here at top Australian university... But seems to me that reader/associate prof and prof are both equivalent to full prof in the US system as we have 4 ranks. I thought that the assumption in the US system is that everyone would make it to full prof eventually. Those who didn't were "terminal associates" and considered "deadwood".
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mleok
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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2012, 10:49:26 PM »

I have a colleague at Oxford who is a reader - so they haven't abolished it totally. He would be for sure already be full professor here at top Australian university... But seems to me that reader/associate prof and prof are both equivalent to full prof in the US system as we have 4 ranks. I thought that the assumption in the US system is that everyone would make it to full prof eventually. Those who didn't were "terminal associates" and considered "deadwood".

There will apparently be no new appointments/promotions to the reader level, and the professor rank is being devalued slightly so that it's closer to the US full professor rank.
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #53 on: January 25, 2012, 10:53:10 AM »

I have a colleague at Oxford who is a reader - so they haven't abolished it totally. He would be for sure already be full professor here at top Australian university... But seems to me that reader/associate prof and prof are both equivalent to full prof in the US system as we have 4 ranks. I thought that the assumption in the US system is that everyone would make it to full prof eventually. Those who didn't were "terminal associates" and considered "deadwood".

Um . . . the "deadwood" at the R-1 schools I know about are the associate profs who have not published anything since they were tenured in 1978. Well, and a few who have not (yet) published a second book since tenured in 1992. However, we did (a few years ago), promote to full someone whose second book was published about 30 years after tenure -- and it was a fine biographical study which had demanded a great deal of work in far-flung archives.
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shrek
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« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2012, 9:59:23 AM »

At my R1 there's a 5K bump (in addition to whatever modest- to now non-existent annual raise) at both the move from assistant to associate and again from associate to full. And yes, as a full you do more service. But, there are committees that only full professors are on (budget, tenure & promotion) or can chair (graduate studies) that can make a difference in the longer-term health of the department. One benefit for me was to be able to tell the "faculty terrorist" (I love that term) to go f^ck themselves.
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angustias
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« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2012, 5:02:24 PM »

For me - 16 yrs as Assoc Prof- it just isn't worth the effort.  The salary bump is very small, and at a small school where I have to teach in areas far outside my specialty, what research I have done is on being up to teaching the areas that were not my main focus.  My college focuses on UG teaching, and that's what I work at - being able to teach undergrads in three different areas. So the occasional paper, conference presentation keeps me at this level.  Plus I have three kids and like being able to enjoy life.   
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mleok
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« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2012, 9:02:16 PM »

I was wondering if this is somehow field dependent, in particular book vs. paper fields. I could certainly see that in book fields, the kind of sustained effort necessary to write a second book might be just too much effort relative to the rewards. I also suspect that it has much to do with the nature of the institution, terminal associate professors at R1s are typically considered deadwood, since research is by definition an integral part of the mission of a R1, but for more undergraduate oriented institutions, perhaps there is less stigma being stuck at associate professor.
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mleok
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« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2012, 9:08:40 PM »

For me, I was a postdoc for 2 years, an assistant professor for 3 years, and I'm in my 3rd year of my associate professorship. I am being put up for promotion to full later this year, and if successful, it will take effect the middle of next year. In the R1 I'm in, the nominal time at associate professor rank is 6 years, and even though I'll in all likelihood be promoted to full after 4 years at associate, it still makes me feel antsy to be at the associate professor rank for longer than I was at the assistant professor rank.
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