Friday, March 14, 2014

Tenure Idiocies

Don't hide anything. Someone is bound to go deeper and if you are found out, your case will not be so credible.

Be balanced.

Don't impugn your own witnesses, whether faculty or letter writers. It's ok to say something to the effect that some of them come from very different traditions than the candidate, and so are not so sympathetic. But deal with their concerns substantively.

You are more credible if you don't sound like a sales job.

There are some candidates who are terrific. Most are OK. At the few very strongest universities, more than a few are terrific, but then often your problem is how to choose from among them.

Usually there are about five or ten tenurings that are mistakes compared to one tenure-denial that is a mistake.  Unfortunately, there is some bias in these statistics--so you have to be diligent about tenuring people in some groups (usually white males).

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