Saturday, March 30, 2013

Relief of Professors

I am reading Tom Ricks' The Generals. His main theme is relief of officers if they do not perform, perhaps giving them a second chance, but always keeping victory, the Army, and the troops in mind. At the beginning of World War II, the officer corps was comparatively lacking in energy and leadership, and Marshall and Eisenhower relieved many officers, generals on down.

It strikes me that universities committed to research as well as teaching do not have the capacity to recognize nonperforming assets. Tenure protects faculty from arbitrary dismissal, and it encourages faculty to take risks or make long-term investments in their research agendas. But a good fraction of the faculty in most research universities might well be relieved. Perhaps they could be sent to institutions where their talents would be more valued. Perhaps retirement, early if necessary, is a better strategy. I would think that universities could arrange retirement contributions, so that 20 years after tenure faculty members could afford to make a transition in their lives to roles that would be more rewarding for them and for society.

I appreciate that some faculty display growth and development over the years, and their trajectory might well be the right path. But it seems that many faculty do not know what to do with themselves, at least in their research careers, maybe half-way through their years at the university. I suspect that the fraction is about half the faculty, more in some fields, much less in others.

Right now, universities cannot tolerate nonperforming assets for two reasons: they are being watched more closely by outsiders; and, the junior faculty and new scholars are often much more ambitious and even achieved than that one-half.  I realize that some faculty make major contributions early in their careers, and then cannot match their earlier achievements. And some faculty make major contributions after a long periods of nonperformance. I do not believe that good teaching is a substitute for strong research achievements, nor is administrative appointments.

We ought ask our faculty, What have you done in the last five (or seven or eight) years? Is it impressive and powerful? Would you  be better off somewhere else? In another role? And we would need an exchange to move faculty readily to new roles that would match their achievements and strengths. It makes sense not to displace faculty who are likely to retire in the next 5-8 years, with consideration for age-discrimination. But for many faculty, relief would be a real relief, starting them on a more productive and happier path.

The Most Important Person on Your Tenure Committees

Whatever the process, there is always lots of curiosity about the confidential tenure review process. In some institutions there is a great deal of openness, in others much less so. People want to know who is on the tenure review committee at the upper levels, who wrote letters of reference, what their chair or dean said in the letters. I am sure that Tenure, a People-like magazine, would do well, with pictures of provosts in incriminating situations, with stories about how people went on with their lives after denial, and with accounts of who was involved with who--gays and the like now replaced by fraternization, relationships between ranks, and how the dean's "boy-toy" is doing now that he is on his own. Still...

The most important person on your tenure committees is actually not on any of the committees. That person is you. If you do what you are supposed to do, or if you do not, you determine whether or not you receive tenure. If you are on the border, then you have given control and power to others.

It is not hard to discern what you need to do to be tenured:

      Decent teaching and attentiveness to student concerns.
      Showing up at faculty meetings, or other service obligations. If you are put in charge of something, do it acceptably well.

If you are given too large a set of teaching and service obligations, be sure the dean and chair appreciate that you understand that they are making your future much less sure.

      Adequate grant performance. In some fields, none are expected. In some, internal university grants are fine. And in some, external grants from the right sources are expected. Often, more than one. Expectations are often honored in the breach, but you want to have a strong rather than a marginal case.
      Reputation among important people in your field is positive and they know of you. You have to go to meetings, meet people, get invited to give talks, send out pre-prints or reprints.
      Significant contribution to your field. In the arts, this may involve performances or exhibitions or published books--with reviews that are serious. In the conventional scholarly fields, a set of publications that make a contribution to the field, what is sometimes called an advance. It should be clear that you have major responsibility for joint endeavors. In the professional schools, there may be demands for practice, for publication in the main service journals in the profession, for the relevance of your work to actual practice.

Yes, this is lots to do in the 5 1/2 to 9 1/2 years of probationary time. But in that time, you might be able to generate job offers from elsewhere (peer or better institutions or departments are what is impressive). If you are at one of the institutions that makes tenure decisions after you are an associate professor, it is quite likely that you have such offers. (So you are up at Harvard, but have a Chicago offer. At MIT, Stanford or Berkeley are offering. Usually, at this stage, it is tenured professorship.)

And you want to be sure that you take time out for having children, taking care of seriously ill family members, or perhaps you are ill yourself. Many institutions stop the tenure clock with no prejudice for a year, at least.

If you are not tenured, you should be able to find a position elsewhere. Decide if you wish to continue as an academic. If not, go on to a terrific life. If you do continue, make sure your former colleagues regret their decision. As for legal and grievance matters, you need the counsel of those who know your institution, and your own taste for litigation. Would you write a book or publish several articles with that time and energy. Keep in mind that we overvalue what we have, especially if it might be taken away from us.

Living well is the best revenge. Actually, living well is all that matters.

PS I know there is meanness, unfairness, arbitrariness, and discrimination-- But you want to be in command of your career. Again, I have no idea how to respond to such behavior. A friend says to me if the his university allows such, he does not want to be part of it, and he is looking elsewhere. A provost's nightmare is when the strongest faculty are actively looking--they will have the most choices, and once a leak starts, a flood is likely. Losing 2 or 3% of your faculty, when they are your strongest faculty, is usually a sign that the provost should retire to become a president.

More Law and Politics, Less Analysis, at Public Policy Schools

General Petraeus, in his talk at USC a few days ago, spoke of the value of his Princeton MPA and PhD degrees from the Woodrow Wilson School. He referred to Richard Falk, whose focus was international law and whose politics would be very different than Petraeus's, in the most admiring tone, indicating he learned to think from Falk and Princeton.  Not a word about policy analysis as we understand it.  Petraeus also made some remarks to the effect that the next decades will be the North American decades, in contrast to the usual talk about China--namely that we are in effect about to be or already are energy independent because of the discoveries and recoveries of natural gas, oil, and other such fuels. Petraeus is not only smart and interesting, he seems to have the kind of wide-ranging perspective our more conventional training does not allow for. 

In an article on the op-ed page of the NYTimes of 29 March 2013, David Brooks, takes on the basic methods and ideas that inform much of what we do in public policy schools. He closes with a concern that there is "a reversion to an empiricist mind-set, a tendency to think in demoralized economic phrases like “data analysis,” “opportunity costs” and “replicability,” and a tendency to dismiss other more ethical and idealistic vocabularies that seem fuzzy and, therefore, unreliable. After the hippie, the yuppie and the hipster, the cool people are now wonksters.

The Empirical Kids

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Twelve years ago, I wrote a piece for The Atlantic, called “The Organization Kid,” about the smart, hard-working, pleasant-but-cautious achievatrons who thrive in elite universities. Occasionally, somebody asks me how students have changed since then. I haven’t been perceptive enough to give a good answer.But, this year, I’m teaching at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale, and one terrifically observant senior, Victoria Buhler, wrote a paper trying to capture how it feels to be in at least a segment of her age cohort. She’s given me permission to quote from it.
Buhler points out that the college students of 12 years ago grew up with 1990s prosperity at home, and the democratic triumph in the cold war abroad. They naturally had a tendency to believe deeply “in the American model of democratic capitalism, which created all men equal but allowed some to rise above others through competition.”
Then came Sept. 11. That was followed by the highly moralistic language of George W. Bush’s war on terror: “Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.”
But Bush’s effort to replicate the Reagan war on an evil empire led to humiliation, not triumph. Americans, Buhler writes, “emerged from the experience both dismissive of foreign intervention as a tool of statecraft as well as wary of the moral language used to justify it.”
Then came the financial crisis, the other formative event for today’s students. The root of the crisis was in the financial world. But the pain was felt outside that world. “The capitalist system, with its promise of positive-sum gains for all, appeared brutal and unpredictable.”
Moreover, today’s students harbor the anxiety that in the race for global accomplishment, they may no longer be the best competitors. Chinese students spend 12-hour days in school, while American scores are middle of the pack.
In sum, today’s graduates enter a harsher landscape. Immediate postgrad life, Buhler writes, will probably bear a depressing resemblance to Hannah Horvath’s world on “Girls.” The hit song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “is less a fashion statement, more a looming financial reality.”
Buhler argues that the group she calls Cynic Kids “don’t like the system — however, they are wary of other alternatives as well as dismissive of their ability to actually achieve the desired modifications. As such, the generation is very conservative in its appetite for change. Broadly speaking, Cynic Kids distrust the link between action and result.”
A Brookings Institution survey found that only 10 percent of young people agree with the statement, “America should be more globally proactive.” The Occupy movement, Buhler notes, “launched more traffic jams than legislation.” The Arab Spring seemed like a popular awakening but has not fulfilled its promise.
In what I think is an especially trenchant observation, Buhler suggests that these disillusioning events have led to a different epistemological framework. “We are deeply resistant to idealism. Rather, the Cynic Kids have embraced the policy revolution; they require hypothesis to be tested, substantiated, and then results replicated before they commit to any course of action.”
Maybe this empirical mind-set is a sign of maturity, but Buhler acknowledges that the “yearning for definitive ‘evidence’ ... can retard action. ... The multiplicity of options invites relativism as a response to the insurmountable complexity. Ever the policy buffs, we know we are unable to scientifically appraise different options, and so, given the information constraints, we stick with the evil we know.”
She suggests calling this state of mind the Tinder Effect, referring to the app that lets you scroll through hundreds of potential romantic partners, but that rarely leads to a real-life encounter.
Buhler’s most comprehensive disquiet is with the meritocratic system itself. It rewards an obsessive focus on individual improvement: “Time not spent investing in yourself carries an opportunity cost, rendering you at a competitive disadvantage as compared to others who maintained the priority of self.”
She wonders if the educated class is beginning to look at the less-educated class — portrayed on TV in shows like “Teen Mom 2” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” — as a distant, dysfunctional spectacle. She also wonders if the mathematization of public policy performs a gatekeeper function; only the elite can understand the formulas that govern most people’s lives.
I had many reactions to Buhler’s dazzling paper, but I’d like to highlight one: that the harsh events of the past decade may have produced not a youth revolt but a reversion to an empiricist mind-set, a tendency to think in demoralized economic phrases like “data analysis,” “opportunity costs” and “replicability,” and a tendency to dismiss other more ethical and idealistic vocabularies that seem fuzzy and, therefore, unreliable. After the hippie, the yuppie and the hipster, the cool people are now wonksters.
And, yes, I gave her an A.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gotcha Questions, General Patraeus, and Seminars

Yesterday, General Patraeus gave a  brief talk and took questions. What's interesting is how he responded to questions. People often ask gotcha questions, in effect the proverbial, when will you stop beating your wife. So someone asked about executive initiated wars and their legality--I am sure I am misrepresenting the question. Petraeus proceeded to answer in a highly professional manner, indicating his awareness of the legality issues, the procedures he follows, and also distinguished differences of policy (the executive is in charge) and in carrying it out. I watched him handle a discussion of what went wrong under Bremer's regime in Iraq, so that he said nothing bad about Bremer or the White House, but also indicated how things went awry.

You could say that Petraeus was avoiding the questions. My own view is rather that he is giving his perspective as a professional soldier. Surely he knows who did what and who was wrong, often enough. But  as a soldier who understands civil-military relations he knows where he stands and what he is responsible for. By the way, if you read memoirs by Rumsfeld or Rice, you won't find this sort of tone--they are always not responsible, or no one told them or disagreed at the time with their policies and actions. So what is interesting is how Petraeus articulates his soldier position. And how he distinguishes the role of a two-star (general) from his role as a four-star.

I treat such speakers as evidentiary or exemplary. The questions you ask them are meant to elicit their own sense of the world. They are much too smooth (they don't get to be four-stars if they are not) to be tripped up, except perhaps in a Congressional hearing, where senators have the ability to follow-up their questions, and set up those beating-your-wife questions. Or, in situations, where an expert shows that you are wearing the emperor's new clothes, or misrepresenting what happened.

In seminars, I try to ask questions to figure out what's going on. Rarely, if ever, do I know enough to find the hidden flaw in the research. But I really do want to find out what's up, the motivations, the take-home from the work. It's easy to satisfy me, and if you say the right stuff in the first ten minutes of your talk, I am quite happy to just listen (or leave). But it is often difficult to find out what's going on, even if you ask those questions.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Using Wikipedia. Tolle Lege.

There is no reason to believe that Wikipedia articles are authoritative. They are likely to be correct, but you cannot be sure. So they are a good place to start, but not the place you reference in a scholarly article (unless you are writing about Wikipedia articles!)

In general, you are likely to misled by most internet sources, unless they are manifestly professional and well documented. Books and journals, still, are the main sources. I am quite willing to believe that in a decade the internet and its devices will become more reliable, and also more unreliable. You might want to use Google Scholar, but keep in mind that many of the leads there are to preprints or other unrefereed articles.

If you are very experienced, you can actually find good stuff. And in general, for a date or a name the internet is useful.

A student came into my office talking about the Grameen Bank, microcredit lending. I asked if they knew of criticism of the institution. No response. So I went to Wikipedia under "Grameen Bank", and there was a section on criticism of the innovation. Surely, this is not complete, and I don't know if the sources are good ones. BUT it can start me off, and it will lead me into the literature. That's what I need. I would not refer to the internet source, Wikipedia, but I would check and then refer to the original articles.

More generally, most students, undergraduate and graduate, as well as high school, are insufficiently sophisticated to use internet sources, but those sources are so readily available to them they are irresistible. Hence, teachers tell their students of the problems of internet sources, but rarely their advantages: ready availability, a good place to start (but NOT end), and quick and dirty orientation to a subject. The internet and Wikipedia replace the Encyclopedia Britannica or Encyclopedia Americana (which claimed authority, and which worked at keeping errors down), but the internet in general has no monitor. As for dictionaries, you are best off with one of the standards, such as the Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) or the Oxford English Dictionary=OED, a multivolume work. They too are on the internet, in part behind pay walls, but many colleges and universities have site licenses.

If you want to have fun, look at one of the older editions of the encyclopedias. I have a post-WWI edition of the Britannica, part of the tradition of longer authoritative articles written by putative experts.

The most important feature of a desktop dictionary is that it be light enough so that you are willing to check it as often as you wish to. Hence, you may prefer a concise or otherwise abridged dictionary, a college edition, for example. The great advantage of a book, or of going to the library stacks, is that you find things you were not looking for that were adjacent to what you were looking for. And in the case of books, you can, much as did Augustine, open up a book anywhere and see what's there. For Augustine, it was the New Testament, and what he heard in the voices of children or perhaps the leaves in the wind was tolle lege, namely, "take it and read." And so he opened up the NT and found what he needed to hear to make him become the Christian his mother Monica had been urging on him for a very long time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MLA, APA: Style Manuals vs. What really counts.

1. As you will discover, different publication venues have different styles. So when you submit a paper or article, you have to find out their particular requirements. In many fields, there is no uniform style among the journals or publishers.

2. My problem is NOT with research writing style, per se. Rather people need to learn when and where they need to give a reference. What I see is lots of those (Schmoe, 1987) references, often at the ends of several sentences in a paragraph, often with no specific pages. Better, if you must, to have a reference at the end of a paragraph. But in general what you are saying is more general. Then you are better off having a bibliographic essay at the end, saying something like:

     My notions about collaborative governance are drawn from        Schmoe, 1987, Roberts, 1990, and Aaroe, 2012. My work on catastrophic events is drawn from Jonah, 2011, and Whale, 1975...."

3. Of course, if you are quoting, or perhaps paraphrasing, you want to give the source and the pages.

4. And you want to be sure that your main sources are authoritative. The most prestigious journals and presses help, but even they publish junk once in a while. And very distinguished work appears in other places.

5. You don't want your notings and sourcing to get in the way of the paper's flow and readability.  Hence #6 below.

6. As I have mentioned many times, I see no reason to refer to most work by the authors' names in the following sense:  

NOT  "Schmoe, Whale, and Jonah (2004) have shown that dogs are more intelligent than cats, using the Animal IQ test developed  by Whale."   

Better to say

"If one uses the Animal IQ test developed by Whale, one finds that dogs are more intelligent than cats."1

        1. See Schmoe, Whale, and Jonah, 2004, p. 244.


        1. Schmoe, J., W. Whale, and P. Jonah, "Dogs and Cats under the Whale IQ Measure,"  Intelligence and Measurement 36 (2004): 235-247, at p. 244.

7.  Of course, if you are pulling apart a piece of work, or summarizing it, you might say.

"In an influential paper, Schmoe et al, 2004, reported on their measurements of IQ. There are, however, a number of problems with their method. We are not told if the subjects have been fed recently, and the nature of their diets. Moreover, it is well known that cats do poorly on the Whale instrument, since they are distracted by the odor of its nontoxic vegetable ink.1

      1. See the work of R. A. Fishey on analysis of very inks in these cases."

My point here is that the clarification about the style manual you wish is in fact not so important. What is important is learning how to use your sources and how to refer to them.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Customers" and Authority

I first heard about "customers" in the university in about 1990 when the new provost at the University of Michigan, formerly the dean of the school of business, spoke of students as customers. The University of Michigan had been substantially defunded by the state, since the state itself was in dire straits. Suddenly, students were paying tuition comparable to that of private universities, at least if they came from out of state. Many of the provost's ideas were good ones.

Recently, one of my students wrote me (see the entry on memos you should not send) to the effect that my authority was balanced by his paying tuition and he being a customer with rights. At the same time, he wanted the authority of the university degree he was working on, something that presumably you could not  buy--paying tuition does not guarantee that you are worthy. To be worthy is in the end your performance, a performance to be judged by the authorities, presumably your teachers who have been chosen by the institution.

Students and their parents or supporters are right to demand a safe campus, good teaching, and adequate facilities. And they might well ask for more demanding courses and outputs such as being able to write good prose.  They may have definite ideas about curriculum and courses, but they are unlikely to be experts on such, and they are no more likely to know what to ask for from the faculty than they are likely know what to ask for from their surgeon. At some point, they ought go elsewhere if the authority of the faculty is not probative for them.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Are we in the universities going out of business? Not if society demands that we guarantee the Core competences of our students.

There are a small number of universities and colleges that may well be able to stay roughly the same as they are now in the next two decades. But they will be dwarfed by other institutions that:
--provide masters programs, often without much financial aid from the institution, that meet societal needs as defined by adults;
--accommodate veterans who have very substantial governmental benefits, and who want to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees. Just as at the end of WWII and the GI Bill, these students are unlikely to want to relive their adolescence,  or be willing to be subservient to faculty. They are very used to respecting authority, and so they are excellent students, if the faculty realizes how serious are those student-veterans.
--in effect guarantee that their graduates can write, think, and do mathematical work at professional levels, and master a foreign language. Let me call this THE CORE. The problem is not that degrees may demand a broad background or have strong theoretical components.  Right now many graduates, those with strong grades included, are not adequate writers, thinkers, and or mathematically competent, and they do not speak and read important languages in the world.

Yes, there are the massive online courses, distance education, etc.  I do not believe that the above demands will be met unless these popular "innovations" provide the masters degrees, accommodate veterans, and insist on students become professionally competent in language and mathematics and thinking, the Core. In fact, I suspect that once we demand that the university guarantee these fundamental skills at a high level, the demands on faculty will be greater, the need to face-to-face classes will go up, and the physical campus might well become essential.

Most of the current innovations do not guarantee professional competence in the Core, even if lots of technical material is well mastered. For innovations do not address the Core, for the Core demands a level of personal interaction that is very demanding. Veterans know this from their work in the armed services where they learn to be effective soldiers from interacting with their peers and their superiors.

The call for tests that will guarantee or certify Core competences is a sign that people do not realize what those competences really are. If students can produce a suitable portfolio of writing, if they can master statistics (not by getting an A, but by using the methods in actual work), if they can produce algorithms to do important computational work, and if they can write an essay in another language and carry on a conversation in that language.

College life won't go away. But universities that depend on college life, doctoral research training, and research grants will have a harder time unless they address the deep needs of modern society. These universities have become larger because they now admit much larger fractions of the society, and their student body of children of the rich and alumni (those legacies, Harvard's "happy bottom quarter") is just not even adequate in their skills. And it would seem the nerds and grinds and ethnics (people like me!) are still a small fraction of the entering class. The armed services say that only about 1/4 of the potential recruits have the skills needed for a modern military. Corporations find that employees cannot write, manufacturing employers cannot run efficient enterprises since their employees do not read. Professors, teaching in doctoral programs (me!), find that 1/2 their students or more do not write coherent sentences, focused paragraphs and essays, or know how to survey a scholarly literature. (I'm willing to believe that at the most elite institutions none of these problems are present, but in fact my colleagues tell me otherwise.) We know that students did well in their earlier education, for they have good grades and high scores. But they can't do the basics in the Core. They may know lots, they may be effective leaders or bureaucrats, but in the end they don't know how to read or write or do arithmetic. Of course, probably 1/3 are fine, but that's not enough.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Organizing a Complex Argument So It Makes Sense and Seems Natural

Here is a large sheet of paper I used to organize my Doing Physics book, so it must date back to the 1980s. (If you click on the image you can see it in readable detail.) While it is not so easy to discern the details, notice how I overlapped stuff with a better listing, or I added on yellow remarks with Post-Its. I was trying to organize what I knew, trying to figure out how to put it together in some coherent way. One of my guides were the categories of classical rhetoric. I had lots of insights and observations, but how do I make it into something that holds together and does not seem jerry-built.

The first chapter of Doing Physics, 1992, analogizes the work that walls, particles, and fields do to create the physical world, to the organization of a factory with its division of labor. Industrial engineers and physicists try to discern an organization that is efficient, divides the labor appropriately, etc. There may be many ways of organizing the production process, but only some work well. There are physical theories that only have particles or only fields, theories that are equally accurate, but it is often better to divide up the work so that the theory is easier to grasp and employ. By the way, don't take this to mean that theories are arbitrary. Rather, only some theoretical structures give you ways of thinking that are illuminating, even if you could calculate your answer in any one of the theoretical structures. In my Constitutions of Matter, 1996, and Doing Mathematics, 2003, I look at various ways of proving something or solving a problem, and show how each way illuminates something rather different, AND there is good reason to believe that the different ways of viewing can be connected more generically. It's one thing to show one theory is equivalent to another, but it is much more to show how each theoretical mode looks at the same thing but from different viewpoints, and those viewpoints are connected: you had better get the same result of a calculation, but it is even better to know why such disparate ways of thinking get hold of the same thing. This is the standard theme of phenomenology: a panoply of views of the same thing--how can it accommodate those various views.

What next? Careers, Retirement, Afterlife

Scholars have an afterlife in their students and publications. In some fields, journals and books, even, are meant for the authors, since the published work is rarely read--preprints, word of mouth, etc, dominating the influence of the published literature. In others, the work may have a lifetime of decades, and in others it may well be valuable fifty years hence (mathematics would seem to be of this sort).

Students will  be affected  by your mentoring as well as by your actual teaching. What you do in a class, or in office hours, what you happen to say, may well have lifetimes of impact and influence, although you are unlikely to know which of what you do is effective. If you have doctoral students or senior thesis students, you can readily make a big difference by just being attentive, encouraging, and providing the leadership for when students really need it. You can answer better questions than students ask. You can by your work and your discipline show some students how they might live.

Most scholars feel insufficiently recognized. I observe that the most prominent of them feel that others do not recognize their achievements sufficiently, and usually point to others who get credit for work for which they should be recognized.  You may have students who will defend your achievements and carry on lifelong campaigns to be sure that others do not displace you. (Here I am thinking of the Yale mathematician Serge Lang's campaign re Andre Weil, Emil Artin, and others.) If at a lunch table, I put together two distinguished scholars, albeit from different fields, they may well end up talking about how one was a Jefferson Lecturer while the other counters about his Nobel prize!  Keep in mind that the number of people in each field so recognized is likely to be many fewer than 10.

As for retirement, the big question is What next? There may be books to be written or fieldwork to be done or students needing your attention now that they have tenure. And if you have always wanted to write a novel, you may do that. At some point, the rigamarole of academic bureaucracy can become burdensome, or students seem uninteresting, or you have run out of energy to go at your standard pace. Or, you have been looking for an excuse to cut the demands made on you, and so retirement is a blessing.

Ideally, there should be a marketplace for those who are considering retirement or changing their jobs after 30 years. You move to another institution where your talents are just what they need. Tenure keeps people stuck in jobs they should have abandoned years ago.

Outside the marketplace, you volunteer, you attend to your extended family, you rest more, you write a novel or poetry or ...

Friday, March 22, 2013

"What, me worry?" & "What's going on with them?"

What, me worry? is the famous response of Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine. In general, you probably ought to worry.

What's going on with them? is often my response when I get curious emails or when students or colleagues seem to misread my intentions. It does not matter what's going on with them. What matter is how I respond and how I adapt to their misreadings. Can I respond to lower the temperature? Can I adapt to their needs, so that they read me correctly?

I know how to handle both of these, most parents have. But in fact lots of life is more like parenting than dealing with mature adults.

Do NOT send emails or memos such as these...(now with further background 26Apr13)

{The Scholar's Survival Manual, this blog, is a continuation of my other blog, This Week's Finds in Planning. I will repost here a few of my recent This Week's postings. The book, The Scholar's Survival Manual that will be out Fall 2013 is drawn entirely from This Week's postings. I am now restricting This Week's Finds in Planning to city planning, cities, and social science}.

Preliminaries: The contents of the emails I received were not problematic. Rather, it is their tone and hostility that strike readers as curious. I should note that when I received these emails, I was not at all offended. I just wondered what was going on in the students' minds that they wrote them. I became clinical and professional, and my responses never tried to fathom their intentions. But others read these emails, and indicated that they were hostile and outlandish. I am not sure about hostile and outlandish, but others are quite sure.

26April13: Now it is months after these emails. From further information, I have a better feel for the background, at least for the second email below. The original instructor was not available, and the circumstances around that were disturbing to students. Moreover, it was believed that there was no syllabus for the course. And my preliminary first draft syllabus was quite rough, since I had been asked to teach the course late in the game. Over the next ten days I revised it several times, and that was not comforting I gather. Later it was discovered that the reading was not central to classwork, even though I do believe it was crucial to many of the projects. Students felt that the university was not attending to them, even as they were spending their own money and time. And I had sent them emails earlier in the semester which some found uncomfortable, while others found them comforting. In sum, there was lots of turmoil, and the note to me was a reflection of that. Its tone was unfortunate, since I could have been much more comforting if I had known the origin of the problem, and that tone was inappropriate in any case (I am told by my colleagues).  There is another lesson here. When you receive a communication, especially email, that is somehow off, it's best to be professional, pay attention to the issues, be anodyne. That won't solve the problem, but at least you have been serious. Later, and informally, find out what's going on. My intuitions about what to do had been honed by watching student discomfort at other institutions at other times.

1. I have edited the email below to get rid of identifying material. I responded to it in an anodyne manner, dealing with each issue matter-of-factly. It did seem a bit problematic in its tone (the last line was curious), and when I showed it to experienced colleagues, they suggested that the writer was being too-smart-by-a-half in his praise and was in effect acting out his anger. They might well be right.

If you are fortunate, whatever you send to your boss or your instructor, will be answered in a matter-of-fact fashion, and your improper decorum will be ignored or not noticed. (Your professor may well have dealt with other such messages, seen the same concerns, and figured that this was just one more of the same student confusion. Professors spend a good deal of their time mentoring students, so nothing surprises them.) But you may not be so fortunate, and you will lose credibility. So, don't lay it on so thick, say what is on your mind more directly, and realize that even the most obtuse professor has acute friends. Also, don't address your instructor as "Professor." You can say "Professor Krieger," or "Dr. Krieger" (I can't stand the use of Dr. in this context, but others find it OK), or just have no address, since this email.

I definitely cannot speak for our whole class, but I can speak for a few of us who are somewhat confused about taking another course. You have helped us all figure out what our thesis topic will be through our introduction to "forced evolution" and through your 40 years experience in asking tough questions that get results. You have instructed us in how to do a proper literature review and what kinds of publications are appropriate for each of us on an individual basis. Further, you have, and will be, instructing us in how to write a good paper - providing many references on that topic. You have changed the way we approach reading, making us much more effective and efficient, and teaching us how to determine if it's a good piece of scholarly work.

With all this in mind, I thought that this put our entering-class far ahead of earlier doctoral entering-classes at this point in the program. As for the next course and the one we are taking now, the biggest difference in our syllabi is that they are doing three literature reviews to our one, and their paper is a little longer. Otherwise they are going through the same forced evolution to focus them on a topic as we are. I have attached the two syllabi that you sent us with highlights to show were I am coming from.

I realize there are some differences in the two courses right now, but I did not think they were significant enough for us to take the second course and repeat 90% of what we are doing right now.

But, I'm sure you will explain it to me.

2. Another such interchange: I received a letter from prospective students who were to begin their second required doctoral level course, in a professional doctorate program in our school. The letter lies below my response; it is quite wonderful. FIRST IS MY RESPONSE, THEN THE LETTER, AND THEN SOME REFLECTIONS ON MY RESPONSE


Thank you for your letter. It itself is very rich and I use it below extensively. Let me respond to the letter now, and then respond again after I have thought more about your concerns.

1. There need not be any uncertainties in the course due to who will teach or the reconsideration of the degree.  At USC a course is given by different instructors. No professor "owns" a course.  As for the Price School's considerations of the degree, those will take some time, and you will be through with much of your coursework before they make it into the catalog.
2. You cannot take an elective in place of this course. It is a required course for first year students. [I have always been under this impression. If I am wrong, please correct me.] Programs have such requirements to ensure a shared base of knowledge among a cohort of entering graduate students.
3. As for the relationship to previous course, my current thinking is that while that is a course about ideas, this course is about concrete institutions and history. I cannot imagine that you won't use those ideas in thinking about the materials of of our course.
4. I am not sure what you mean by autocratic/hierarchical vs. inclusivity/collectivity. No organization or firm, no matter how hierarchical its structure, works if it is really autocratic, and the best literature suggests that the powers of the weak lie in how they quietly defy the hierarchy (Michel Crozier, James Scott). (That's also true for totalitarian and autocratic states.) As for inclusivity and collectivity, it is almost always the case that there are leaders and an organizational articulation that is not always inclusive or collective, in part because institutions are pushed forward by external forces.  Planning and policy paradigms, at least of actual places and ongoing institutions, depend on figuring out the interplay of the extremes you have sketched. Your big problem always is how to get all the Israelites to move as a people, so to speak. You might enjoy Michael Walzer, Exodus and Revolution, my Entrepreneurial Vocations (1996) or books on Moses as as leader (by Aaron Wildavsky).
5. What I love about teaching professional students is the depth of their experience in their respective realms, and how they bring that knowledge to bear on our discussion and their own papers. What I have also discovered, and you all may be exceptional, is that most of us do not have analytic distance on what we know best, so that our account of what we know about our realm would benefit from scholarly studies. I have found that I only understand the university and my being a professor when I read the history and sociology of the university and teaching. Our goal in the  program is to take your everyday deep knowledge and ground it in scholarship so that what you know is richer and less parochial. Comparison and analogy are the way I think, and I hope it will help you.
6. Your list--methods, ideas about planning, and longer-term trends with comparative evidence sounds right to me. My main objective is to "elevate your thinking and challenge the validity of your values and fundamentals." That is how I have always taught. I try to do this when we talk in class, and when I comment on your proposed papers and drafts of those papers. I take it as my job is to ask you questions that enable you to think more productively. It's what I am good at.  Methods may be what you need, and surely a sense of trends and history and what is happening elsewhere are valuable.
7. As for clearer more specific learning objectives, actually you have identified the main objective as I have paraphrased you in #6.  I want you to learn to read critically, and the way to do that is to do the reading, think about what is important, and see what we do in class. What I do when I read is take some notes, looking for what is going on in this article or book. I'm good at this, but I have 40+ years of doing this for a living. But I believe I can teach you how to do this by modeling the activity in class. In fact I don't expect you to "absorb the information," as you refer to it below. There is no information to be absorbed.  As for "understanding the impact and significance as they relate to your respective areas of practice", again to paraphrase what you wrote me, that is exactly what I do when I read anything. I am always looking for what does this say to my concerns, my intellectual problems. So when you read, you are not reading to summarize the book or article. You are reading to figure out what this material says to you about your concerns.
8. The professional doctorate is not a conventional research degree. It is meant as a chance for you to work out an advance in practice, an invention, in your field of work or in a related field. You may do library or field research to help think about your advance in practice and to work it out in detail,  but the research is not the same as the research PhD students do, or even close to it. PhD students are advancing a scholarly field, you are advancing practice.
9. As for "positively, measurably, and responsibly having an impact on your fields" that is the purpose of this degree. I am not sure what you mean by "measurably," for often the measure is conveyed by a narrative account that is in no sense anything like a scientific test (and in fact, scientific tests have little to do with all this talk about objective and measurable etc. since the tests are almost always within a very specific practice of doing that science).
10. I know that many of you, and surely your children if you have them, have been under a regime of objectives, grading rubrics, and evidence-based practice. Actually, at this level of your education, those notions infantilize students. What you want from a course is a way of thinking about your concerns that allows you to move forward more productively. That's my goal always.

More to follow.  Your letter below is quite wonderful. Thank you for it.



Dear Dr. Krieger,

We want to begin by thanking you for being so responsive and attentive to the email exchanges regarding the course you will teach this coming Spring.  There are many uncertainties regarding this course given the events that transpired over  and the restructuring that is taking place with the program.  Having someone like you who is so accessible and who tries to the best of their abilities to be forthright and prompt with responses is much appreciated.  Thank you.

As a cohort we are sympathetic to the difficulties you have in preparing for this course given such short notice.  We thank you for inviting us to share our thoughts, concerns, and questions about the course syllabus with you.  We are grateful for this gracious gesture.  We begin by sharing about our cohort.  We are richly diverse in our understanding of planning and urban development, with some having a deeper level of understanding on this subject matter while others do not because they are keenly astute in other areas.  However it has been agreed by most us that having a more detailed syllabus with clearer and more specific learning objectives prior to engaging in the reading materials will better help us absorb the information and understand their significance and impact as they relate to our respective areas of research interests.  Specifically we are interested in knowing the class learning objectives and how they will further our understanding of policy, planning and development, as well as closer to our end point as doctoral level practitioners.  We would like to know how the content of this course will build off of our previous class, which focused on planning and policy paradigms and moving from ones of an autocratic, hierarchical approach to one of inclusivity and collectivity in the policy and planning urban environment.
For example, what may be
·         Some appropriate research methods that would help us identify the shortcomings in our industries and how we as leaders can elevate the discussion?
·          Some themes, paradigms, and insights or perspectives to urban planning and policy to help elevate our thinking and challenge the validity of our values and fundamentals?
·         Some longer term future trends (positive and negative), approaches, and concerns/deficiencies in urban planning and policy as per academia vs. real-time institutional in the USA and abroad, and what can we learn from their implementation?

With your leadership and expertise in this field, we look forward to your more detailed syllabus that will adequately design a course covering theoretical and practical political issues in policy, planning and development urban environment, and perhaps co-creating/sharing relevant industry content during class. We as doctoral level students ask for this clarity, specificity, and support because we value the investment we are making financially and professionally to elevate our theoretical and practical knowledge to positively, measurably, and responsibly impact the respective fields in which we serve.  Likewise, we truly value the investment that each instructor, such as yourself, and more so the Price School, allocates to developing a curriculum and curriculae respectively, that elevates their students' knowledge and prowess in the field and as alumni.  Placing value on this degree and being valued as students is of highest importance and mutually beneficial.  As a cohort, we are varied in our interests, deeply thankful for this learning opportunity, look forward to this next course and future ones, and are excited at the opportunity to get closer to each of our professional aims.

We have attached a sample syllabus we found helpful in outlining some of the learning objectives we are looking for.  Although you are not given much time to prepare for this course, we believe our dialogue exchange on the learning outcomes for this course and leadership and penchant for excellence in teaching, a completed course syllabus can be delivered by January 15, 2013.  We believe this is a reasonable timeframe for both of us, as it will give also us with enough time to plan and prepare for this class or take an elective in its place.  We look forward to your thoughts and inputs.  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share our thoughts, concerns,and questions with you regarding this class.


My response was considered and reflected the kind of critical analytic thinking I want students to have. I did not pull punches.

Some remarks were factual: #1, 2, 3, 8
Some remarks reflected what the scholarly literature says: #4
Some remarks reflected my view on the standard issues in scholarship: #9, 10, but could be taken as philosophy of teaching
Some remarks indicated my philosophy of teaching: #5, 6, 7

I started university teaching at UC Berkeley when I was in effect a post-doc during 1968-73 (if I recall correctly 72-73) when students were even more dubious of what we were teaching and how we went about it. Our students are perhaps more polite and perhaps they have a more professional-sounding set of notions, but the issues are much the same, the tone is effectively the same.

The big change is the economics of higher education, where students are now much more acutely aware of tuition costs to them and time they spend in school. I believe that in general the tuition (price charged) covers about 1/2 the actual cost in a research university, and still is dwarfed by their lost income. The latter is why people want online, weekend, distance, etc education. I am not sure of this, but the payoff in terms of future earnings and increased impact and responsibility, dwarfs cost, time, and lost income.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Plea for Authority

A university is a place where some people, often the faculty, have developed expertise and sophistication on a particular area of knowledge and inquiry. They are likely to be lay persons outside their area, but perhaps they know a good deal about adjacent areas (or not). If the faculty is a research faculty they have contributed to that area, and have a good feel for what is valuable. They have warranted authority.

Some faculty claim expertise outside their realms of strength and competence. They have what might be called borrowed authority.

Here I am concerned with warranted authority. In most fields there are areas where scholarly judgment is remarkably stable, perhaps divided into a few main schools. One may hold a position in those areas but it is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of mastering the ways of thinking and argument. You are welcome to choose one of the schools, but it is unlikely that you will find your well thought out position is outside one of the schools, although you may be able to synthesize.

My point here is that if you go to a university, and are a student, you will find that whatever expertise and strength you have, unless it is in the area of your study, you will find that your opinions do not count for much, your strengths do not allow you to claim expertise in the the focal area of your study.

You may be very successful as an entrepreneur, but that does not mean you really understand modern economics. You may be a successful manager, but theories of management and business will not be defeated or supported by your personal experience. You may be a prize-winning playwright, but you are unlikely to have your understanding of Shakespeare be taken very seriously unless you have mastered a great deal about literature and culture of his time. And you may be a terrific and wealthy inventor, but that does not mean you can make advances in computer science or electrical engineering even if your invention depended on those fields. You may even receive an honorary degree, but that does not mean the faculty wants to have your articles published in their journals.

There are wonderful exceptions, but they are rarer than I would like. Warranted authority is hard-earned, readily squandered, and hard to imitate.

Table of Contents of "The Scholar's Survival Manual"

            A. Fundamentals

            1 "I Can Do That!"  2 What Is Graduate Education For?  3 Getting [MK1] into Graduate School  4 Matching and Searching  5 Taking Advice   6 Students  7 Advice to New Doctoral Students  8 Why Get a PhD? Why Be a Professor? And Where?  9 For New Graduate Students  10 Excellent Work  11 Thinking Analytically While Reading a Paper or Listening to a Talk  12 Excuses  13 Getting Your Doctoral Degree in the Fabled Four Years  14 The Limits of What You Learned in College or High School  15 Graduate Student Ambitions  16 Advice to an Ambivalent but Strong Doctoral Student in a Practical Field  17 External Research Support in the Research University  18 Graduate Student Basics  19 Being Autonomous  20 Improving Your Work  21 Learning the Material  22 How to Write Grant or Fellowship Proposals: For Doctoral Students  23 Advice for New Students  24 Qualifying Exams  25 Writing It Down

            B. Your Advisor and Committee

            26 Why Does My Professor Ask Me to Write a Memo Before He Sees Me?  27 No Surprises for the Boss  28 Using Your Own Judgment  29 Delivering  30 On Choosing an Advisor and Building Your Studies  31 Choosing Your Committee  32 Firing Your Advisor  33 Memos to Your Committee  34 Success Is Not about Being Top-Ranked at a Top-Ranked School  35 Financial Support and the Subject of Your Research  36 Taking Your Mentors' Advice  37 How Responsible Should Advisors Be for Their Doctoral Students?   38 The Good Advisor   39 Basics for New Faculty and Advisors: Avoiding "Internalization of the Aggressor" and Being "Good Enough"  40 Advisors as Scholars

            C. Sticky Situations

            41 Envy  42 I Would Never Want What Happened to Me to Happen to My Students or to My Children  43 Competition  44 Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet Decorum  45 The Experienced Student, the Military Veteran  46 Judgment and Grades  47 Plagiarism 48 "Steal My Ideas!": Impact, Originality  49 Excuses  50 Toward the End of the Semester  51 Doing the Scut Work  52 The Future of Data and Methods--Concreteness: Computation, Cinematic Arts, Statistics and Economics, and Talking to Your Rats  53 Data  54 Incompletes: For a Class, for Tenure


Chapter 2. Writing (#55  -95)

            A. Fundamentals

            55 Writing and Progress  56 Writing a Dissertation Is Chopping Down a Forest, Tree by Tree  57 Dissertation Proposals and Papers  58 Forced Evolution  59 Setting the Agenda: Independence  60 Storytelling and Focus  61 Using Design Skills to Write Research Papers  62 Draw a Target around Where Your Arrow Hits  63 Writing Advice  64 The Writing Path  65 More Writing Advice  66 The Basics  67 Style Manuals  68 PowerPoint vs. Analytical Writing  69 Rewriting  70 Writing So Your Work Is Accepted for Publication  71 Editing Your Book Manuscript  72 Fixing Your Book Manuscript  73 What Is This Paper About?  74 The Big Idea, Lessons, Lists

            B. Bottom Line Up Front

            75 Bottom Line Up Front = BLUF[MK2]   76 If You Can't Say It in Three Sentences, You Do Not Know What Your Script Is About  77 The First Sentence Should Give Away the Whole Story; If Not, Do It by the Second  78 The Takeaway  79 "The Layout Was Hard on the Eyes"  80 Why Papers Are Immediately Returned and Rejected by Journals

            C. Research

            81 Reviewing the Research Literature  82 Boring Work  83 Craftsmanship and Film Editing  84 Rereading Is Illuminating

            D. Publishing

            85 Grammar-Checking  86 Publishing Your Dissertation Work  87 Collaboration  88 Substantial Contributions  89 Reviewers' Reports, Appropriate Journals, and Colleagues' Pre-Reviews  90 Writing a Good Second Draft: Take Charge of What You Are Saying  91 Anxiety: Negative Reviews, Coauthoring  92 If You Write a Paper, Get It Published!  93 Why Do People Write Books?  94 Books or Articles  95 Rankings


Chapter 3. Getting Done (#96  -112)

            A. Fundamentals

            96 Moses and the Promised Land  97 Brilliant Ideas Are Already in What You Have Drafted  98 Working Hard  99 Catching Up and Getting Down to Writing  100 Taking Notes: Reading Is an Active Process

            B. Finishing

            101 Finishing a Project  102 Getting Done  103 "My Professors Keep Asking for Revisions of My Dissertation Draft"  104 Have You Spent Too Long a Time in Graduate School?  105 It Takes Twice As Long As You Planned  106 Focusing on Getting Done  107 Do It Now: Displacement  108 Projects: Doing Better without More Work; Exemplary Faculty  109 Scut Work and Publicizing Your Research  110 Moving to Assistant Professorship

            C. Reference Letters

            111 Asking for Reference Letters  112 Writing Academic Reference Letters


Chapter 4. Getting the First Job (#113  -150)

            A. Fundamentals

            113 Now That You Have Your Doctorate  114 What Do I Do with My Degree?  115 Visibility in Graduate School  116 Job Talks  117 Giving a Talk at a Conference  118 Speaking, Moderating, Commenting  119 Job Talk Advice  120 The Content of Your Talk  121 Job Search  122 Job Hunting  123 Getting That Job Interview  124 Looking for a Job  125 The Academic Labor Market  126 Finding a Job in a Particular Locale  127 A Market?  128 Being on the Job Market  129 Being in the Job Market, Always  130 Job Search Advice  131 Seeking a Job at a Meeting  132 Application Letter for a Job

            B. Job Talks and Seminar Presentations

            133 Compelling Presentations  134 What Makes a Terrific Job Talk?  135 Giving Your Best Talks and Oral Presentations  136 Brief Presentation at a Scholarly Meeting  137 Ways of Surviving a Job Interview  138 Preparing for the Job Search  139 Job Interviews  140 Interviewing for a Job, or in Fieldwork

            C. No Offers?

            141 You Did Not Get a Job Offer . . .   142 No Job This Year?  143 The Day Job

            D. You Have an Offer

            144 The Job Market: Counteroffers and Market Signaling  145 Bargaining for Jobs and Fellowships  146 Jobs: Negotiating for a Position

            E. Hiring

            147 Mistakes in Hiring  148 Hiring the Strongest in Any Field  149 Quality: One A is Better Than Two Bs, unless You Have a C Average  150 Hire Smart, Keep Smart, Tenure Smart


Chapter 5. Junior and Probationary Faculty (#151  -174)

            A. Fundamentals

            151 Doing Your Best in a Bureaucracy  152 Focus and Direction in Your First Job  153 An Informal Guide for New Faculty Members  154 Justifying Your Work  155 Your Personal Best  156 Assistant Professors: How to Survive  157 Increasing Quality at Tenure Time  158 We Want You to Succeed  159 Junior Faculty Advice  160 Mentoring and Junior Faculty Leaves  161 By Year 2<1/2>  162 Subpar Performance  163 Brief Guide for New Assistant Professors  164 Teaching Concerns  165 When Things Get Rocky in Your Department  166 Keeping Your Ears Open about Jobs Elsewhere  167 Getting Job Offers from Other Places Is Good for Your Home Institution  168 Taking Control of Your Career

            B. Promotion and Tenure

            169 You, the Candidate, Are in Charge  170 What Do I Have to Do to Get Tenure?  171 How Did X Get Tenure, Five Years Ago, When I Did Much More Than X Did?

            C. Denial

            172 When You've Been Denied Tenure  173 If You Are Denied Tenure, Promotion, or Appointment--Unfairness  174 I Did Not Get Promoted


Chapter 6. Grants, Fellowships, and Other Pecuniary Resources (#175  -183)

            175 Incentivizing Research  176 Applying for Grants, Fellowships  177 Raising Grant Monies to Do Your Work  178 Getting Grants  179 Do Not Do These in Your Grant Application  180 Preparing a Research Proposal  181 Grant-Getting  182 External Research Support Does Not Corrupt  183 Low-Overhead Research Dollars from Fellowships or Foundation Grants


Chapter 7. Your Career (#184  -219)

            A. Fundamentals

            184 You Are in Control of Your Career, Your Grades, Your Promotion  185 Probationary Times  186 Building Depth in Your Portfolio

            B. Awards

            187 Recognition, Awards, External Offers  188 Awards, Grants, and Honorifics  189 Too Much Pressure Here?  190 Recognition, Academic Seriousness  191 Campaign for Recognition and Awards  192 Recognition--Awards

            C. Impact and Influence of Your Work

            193 Impact and Influence  194 Impact Factors, Genuine Impact, Contribution  195 Increasing Your Impact: Limited Room at the Top  196 Unrecognition  197 Journal Rankings: What Counts Is Your Contribution to Scholarship  198 Productivity in Academia  199 The Contributions Made by Your Research Work  200 The Value of Annual Reviews of Our Work  201 Writing for Wider-Circulation Discipline-Wide Journals  202 Book Chapters

            D. Multi-Authored Work

            203 Why Do So Many Papers in Some Fields Have So Many Authors? They Do Not Seem to Be Much Stronger Than Papers in That Same Field with One or Two Authors  204 Counting Papers and Books and Citations--Compared to What?  205 Teams and Interdisciplinary Work  206 Multiple Authorship, Order of Names, Contribution  207 Collaborative and Team Work: The CV  208 Multiple Authorship: How to Count Work  209 Individual vs. Collective Research Efforts

            E. Your CV

            210 Evaluating Your Contributions and CV  211 De-Fluffing Your CV  212 Your CV, for Those Who Are Just Getting Started  213 Stupid Résumé Tricks  214 Fluff in the CV  215 Curriculum Vitae--Format

            F. Changing Jobs

            216 Should You Change Universities? Yes!  217 Leaving Your University Position: Living Well Is the Best Revenge  218 Reinventing the Faculty  219 Why Do Faculty Leave?


Chapter 8. Tenure and Promotion (#220  -290)

            A. Fundamentals

            220 What Tenure Means (for Lay Persons)  221 Lessons Drawn from Reading Hundreds of Dossiers  222 Encouraging an Even Stronger Faculty in the Future  223 Promotion/Tenure/Appointment: Very Brief Advice for All Involved  224 Getting Tenured  225 Avoiding Turndowns, for Tenure or Full Professor  226 The Rising Tide: Your Personal Best Has to Be Superior, Not Marginal  227 Promotion Guidelines  228 Professional Competence and Trust  229 Thinking about Your Promotion  230 Do What You Must Do  231 Promotion: WYSIWYG  232 Tenure Judgments: If You Have Any Doubt, Vote No  233 Avoiding Tenure Mistakes  234 Making Multi-Million-Dollar Long-Term Capital Investments: Tenure, Promotion  235 From a Member of the University Promotion Committee  236 Quality Judgments and Letters of Reference  237 "If I Did So Little I Would Be Ashamed of Myself"  238 Marginal Is Not Good Enough  239 Your Department's Credibility Is on the Line  240 Statistical Prediction for Better Tenure Decisions? Moneyball and Kahneman's "Cognitive Illusion"  241 Would You Want This Professor and Candidate for Promotion or Tenure Teaching Your Child?  242 From Members of the University Promotion Committee  243 Being Conned When Reading Promotion and Hiring Letters and Dossiers  244 Tenure for Clinicians, Practitioners, and Teachers  245 Judging Work beyond My Ken  246 Doggie Comes Up for Tenure  247 Hiring Grisha Perelman with Tenure  248 Ethos of Promotion and Tenure in a Strengthening Institution  249 Tenure Decision Errors  250 Tenure Traps

            B. The Dossier

            251 If You Are Chair of a Promotion or Tenure Committee  252 An Ideal Dossier  253 Tell Us What Is Going On  254 More Stuff from Reading Tenure Dossiers  255 Rhetoric of Promotion Committee Reports  256 Playing Chicken with the Provost and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee  257 Alt-A and Subprime Appointments and Promotions: Meltdown  258 Avoiding Getting Stuck with a Lemon  259 What Makes a Strong Tenure or Promotion Case?  260 Dossiers: Avoiding Disaster  261 Peer Institutions  262 Preparing Promotion Dossiers  263 Do Not Embarrass the Football Coach  264 Real Professors' Performance  265 Blowing Your Own Horn  266 Making Your Case for Promotion or Tenure  267 Personal Statements at Tenure and Promotion Time  268 The Promotion Bubble  269 Expectations for Tenure: Is There Enough Room at the Top?  270 Time in Rank   271 What Counts for Tenure and Promotion  272 Dossier Illusions  273 An Epitome of Concerns re Tenure and Promotion  274 Promotion Dossiers as Excuses  275 Benchmarking, Reviews, Citations, and the Disciplines  276 Preparing Promotion Dossier Materials  277 What Is the Contribution?  278 Writing Your Personal Statement  279 Promotion Dossier Checklist for Preparers  280 A Credible Dossier  281 Ringer Letters, Weak Trajectory, Uncollegial Behavior, Early Full Professorship  282 Promotion Dossiers Can Self-Destruct  283 Dossier Phenomenology  284 Problems with Promotion Dossiers  285 Excuses You Really Do Not Want to Employ  286 Might Departments or Schools Be Allowed to Make Their Own Tenure Decisions?

            C. More on Denial

            287 Unfairness  288 You Don't Want Your Colleagues to Write This Sort of Letter to the Provost  289 Tenure Due Processes  290 What to Do If You've Been Denied Tenure


Chapter 9. After Tenure--Associate and Full Professorship (#291  -307)

            291 What Did You Do This Summer?  292 You've Just Been Promoted by the Skin of Your Teeth  293 You've Just Been Promoted or Tenured  294 For Associate Professors: Grants, PIship, Fellowships  295 Bureaucratic Drag  296 Laying Golden Eggs: Long-Time-in-Rank Associate Professors  297 Getting Sandbagged and Slowed Down  298 Getting to Full Professor--Stoking the Fire in the Belly  299 Becoming a Full Professor  300 Promotion to Full: Your Personal Statement  301 Social Promotion  302 Promotion to Full Professor  303 What to Say to Senior Faculty When the University Is on the Make  304 No Faculty Member Is beyond Redemption  305 Retirement: Moving to Another Role Elsewhere  306 Appointing Star Professors and Those with Unconventional Careers   307 Senior Faculty Visibility


Chapter 10. Scholarly and Academic Ethos (#308  -391)

            A. Fundamentals

            308 No One Ever Does It on Their Own  309 <SC>send<\> and Die  310 Trapped in a Seminar  311 Feynman on Conference Disasters  312 What You Should Have Learned in Graduate School  313 Sabbatical Means Always Having to Say No  314 Taking One's Own Advice  315 Machiavellian Advice  316 Human Tragedy and Compassion  317 Resilience, Focus, Direction, Perseverance  318 Patience, Resilience, Courage  319 Is There a Substitute for Brains?  320 Untreated Illness and Work  321 Failure and Bouncing Back  322 Creativity  323 Whatever You Need Is in the Room. Do Not Go Home without Testing Out Your Ideas  324 Pronto Prototyping  325 Basics for Getting the Work Done  326 E-mail and Your Reputation  327 We Get Paid to Show Up  328 A Deeper Career  329 Judgment and Maturity  330 Doing What You Are Supposed to Do  331 Awkward Letters and Memoranda

            B. Excellence

            332 Excellence and Politics: Playing in the Big Leagues  333 The Rules of the Game  334 Reputation: You Have Only One Chance  335 Goldman Sachs Described  336 They're Judging You All the Time  337 The Impression You Make on Others  338 Your Reputation Is on the Line Each Time You Make an Appearance  339 Work That Matters  340 Academic Assets, Reliability  341 Fairness and Rewards  342 Pushing for Excellence and Preeminence  343 Excellence--How to Make the Football Team Proud of the University  344 For Faculty Who Want to Do Well  345 Playing at an Extremely High Level  346 Bonuses  347 Global Warming of the Quality Temperature  348 Your Comparative Advantage  349 Fame Too Late  350 Whether the Work Is Any Good at All  351 Craftsmanship  352 Annual Reviews  353 No Complaints  354 Thanking Everyone

            C. On Time

            355 How to Be on Time  356 Nobody Procrastinates Their Way to the Top  357 On Time vs. Late

            D. Overloaded?

            358 Focus  359 Overloaded?  360 When the Task or Work (the Dissertation, the Book) Is Too Much  361 May, June, July, and August  362 Time  363 Time Management  364 Scholarship and Community

            E. The Research Enterprise

            365 Success in This Life  366 Scholarship and Opinions  367 Scholarship Is a Competitive, Resource-Driven ($, Time) Enterprise  368 Politics: When You Have No Influence  369 Academic Tantrums  370 The Cost of Gaming the System  371 High-Concept Titles of Papers and Books  372 Strategy  373 Scholarship  374 The Scholarly Bottom Line  375 Focused Work  376 Reliability  377 Recognition: (Specialization <RARROW> Productivity) <TIMES> Visibility = Compensation  378 Grade Inflation?  379 Rejection and Recovery  380 Taking Charge in Group Work  381 What Counts in Scholarship  382 Scholarship: Scholia, Advances  383 Do We Read What Is Published in the Journals and Presses We Publish In?  384 The Research Literature  385 Rereading the Hard Parts of a Source

            F. Controversy

            386 Bureaucratic Survival  387 Reviews of Your Book or Article  388 Accusations and Innocence  389 You're 42, a Postdoc: What to Do Next?  390 If English Is Not Your Native Work Language  391 Finding Out about the World in a Reliable Way: Fishing for What's Going On


Chapter 11. Stronger Faculties and Stronger Institutions (#392  -420)

            A. Fundamentals

            392 College Admissions  393 Attracting Strong Graduate Students  394 Market Signaling  395 You Want a Faculty That's Hard to Keep  396 Ranking Departments  397 Tenure Markets  398 The Ones That Got Away  399 Propinquity Learning  400 Showing Up  401 Learning to Think  402 The Resistance of the Entrenched and Preserving the Institution's Heritage  403 Surviving and Thriving in the Research University of ~2025  404 Standards and Thriving  405 Late Bloomers  406 Why I Should Not Attend Most Seminars  407 Awarding Chairs and Honorary Professorships  408 What Do Deans Do?  409 FICO Scores for Deans/Departments: Trust in Practice  410 When a University Gets Stronger  411 Family Friendliness  412 Campus Life  413 Do You Wear Knife-Proof Undergarments? Academic Contest and Dialectic

            B. A Different University

            414 A Low-Cost, Low-Overhead University  415 Authority

            C. Mentoring

            416 Mentoring and Dementoring  417 Faculty Mentoring Faculty  418 Coaching Professors  419 Mentoring  420 Tormentoring