Charting Your Progress Toward Tenure

When Rachel O'Brien was writing her self-evaluation for her "pre-tenure review" at Allegheny College, she found herself wanting a visual aid to gain a comprehensive view of how her career was evolving. She created the table below for that purpose. It allowed her to track her professional activities and identify her strengths as well as her weaknesses. This helped her to prioritize her short-term goals as she prepared for tenure review.

Constructing Your Own Chart

To construct this table, Rachel read the guidelines for tenure in Allegheny's Faculty Handbook, and used them to define the three primary categories of her professional work (Teaching, Research, and Service), as well as the specific criteria used to measure productivity in each category. Faculty workload, as well as the evidence used to assess professional achievement, vary for each academic institution. So Rachel's advice is to have your own Faculty Handbook nearby when preparing your table.

Rachel's Chart

Rachel O'Brien's "career at a glance" chart

Download a blank copy of this chart (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 53kB Oct2 07) to modify for your own use.

For a sense of what this might look like a few years into a tenure-track position, here's the same chart with fictitious information filled in:

Fictitious, filled in version of Rachel O'Brien's career at a glance chart