A question of Tenure...

Lisa Camasi lcamasi at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Feb 3 00:28:50 UTC 2003

Hello to all,

I have a question for any and all list members (and academic colleagues)
who are inclined to reply.

I am taking a graduate seminar at UC Berkeley, the title of which is
Discourse, Gender, Institutions and Power.  The current institution is
Academia, and the discussion at the moment is how one goes about getting
Tenure.  This is being discussed in light of recent decisions by some
universities to consider "collegiality" when deciding whether or not to
confer tenure.

So my question is:  How did you gain Tenure (If you have it) or what do you
think it takes (if you don't, but are pursuing it)?  We know that the stock
answer is through outstanding research and writing, teaching and service to
one's field.  Those are all the 'official' measures.  What we are curious
about are the 'unofficial' yardsticks by which people are measured in their
pursuit of Tenure.

A former lecturer of mine once said (with a tone of disbelief) that
"whether or not you get a job, much less Tenure, has more to do with
whether the rest of the department wants to spend the next 20 years
standing next to you at the photocopier than the quality and depth of your

I would be grateful for any and all responses to this query.  Responses
will be shared with a group of approximately 12 graduate students and a
couple of post docs.  If you would like your response to be anonymous, I
will delete all identifying material from your reply, but I would like to
be able to state, for each reply, what field or department you belong to,
whether you have tenure or are in pursuit of it, and what your status is
professionally (assistant, associate or full professor, post doc
researcher, graduate student, etc.)

Please reply privately to my address above.  Though a little lively
discussion on the list might be nice too!

Many thanks, and apologies for cross posting.  Also, I would be interested
in replies from people working in other academic departments, so would
appreciate it if any of you would post this to other academic lists,
especially outside of social sciences and humanities.

Lisa Camasi

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