Beyond Tenure

You did it - you got tenure! Now what? The resources below address what happens after tenure, including post-tenure performance reviews and promotion. There are also resources about changing career paths, post-tenure.

Jump down to additional resources on: Challenges and Opportunities for Development | Review and Promotion | Changing Career Paths

Workshop and Conference Presentations

View from the Administration (Acrobat (PDF) 151kB Mar19 12) - This presentation was given by Alec Gallimore and Arthur Thurnau (University of Michigan) at the 2006 Minority Faculty Development Workshop. The powerpoint slides offer a view of promotion and tenure (P&T), highlighting the P&T process and tips on where to concentrate your efforts.

Mid-Career Faculty: Challenges and Opportunities for Development

The mid-career faculty stage presents unique challenges in academia, including post-tenure depression, over-committing oneself, or finding one's work becoming mundane and 'stale.' Recognizing these challenges as they develop can help, as can taking on new projects. Professional development workshops and programs can also provide opportunities to try new things in one's teaching and research, and to network with others with similar concerns and interests.

  • Why Are Associate Professors So Unhappy? - This article, from the Chronicle of Higher Education, explores why post-tenure life can feel less satisfying than life during the tenure process. Uncovering these reasons can help post-tenure faculty identify and know how to counteract these negative feelings.
  • I've Got Tenure. How Depressing. is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that addresses the 'post-tenure depression' some early career faculty experience. The article aims to inform faculty that this is a relatively common feeling and how to use reflection to overcome that feeling.
  • Making Mid-Career Meaningful, by Roger Baldwin, uses a series of metaphors to describe life as a mid-career academic as a way to identify and address how to overcome challenges related to this career stage.
  • Now that I'm Tenured, Where do I go from Here?, by Nancy Mills, explores strategies such as faculty development programs as a way to aid newly tenured faculty in keeping up with the needs and demands of their department as well as to keep your career from becoming 'mundane.'
  • Building Strong STEM Departments highlights strategies and tools that any STEM department (and many other departments) can use to strengthen curricula and programs, to plan and conduct program assessments, to recruit students, or to become or remain a valued institutional partner. Working on these department-level tasks can be invigorating, for both you and your department.

Post-Tenure Review and Promotion

Many institutions use a post-tenure review process to monitor faculty performance and to evaluate faculty for potential promotion. The resources below offer insight into the post-tenure review process, including how to prepare, what to expect, and how to handle potential issues that arise from a review.

  • Post-Tenure Review Resources from the American Association of University Professors offers a handful of links that may be useful for faculty at institutions that perform post-tenure review, including expectations, managing productivity, how to deal with post-review 'blues' and case law studies related to post-tenure review.
  • Preparing for Promotion, Tenure, and Annual Review: A Faculty Guide, by Robert M. Diamond. This book enumerates important questions to be asked and the issues that should be considered as faculty approach the review process. Concrete resources, examples, references, and a faculty checklist make this a practical tool for any instructor facing a professional evaluation.
  • The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work, from Rick Reis' Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List. This posting looks at factors, particularly increased level of service work, that may be responsible for the difference in promotion rates between men and women from associate to full professor.
  • Post-Tenure Blues, from Rick Reis' Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List. This posting looks at a proposed new post-tenure review system at the University of Texas and its implications for other systems as well.
  • Energizing the Senior Professor, from Rick Reis' Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List. This posting looks at at the Hanover College approach to post-tenure review and its implications for other institutions.
  • The Fallout From Post-Tenure Review is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that takes a look at general outcomes of the post-tenure review process.

Changing Career Paths: Re-evaluating a Career in Academia

Academia isn't for everyone, and this realization sometimes comes after one is granted tenure. If you're reconsidering a career in academia, you're not alone. The resources below address this issue and provide perspective and examples from others who have had the same feeling.

  • Post-Academic Profiles from the Escape the Ivory Tower website describe the paths of tenured professors who left their careers in academia because it was not a good fit. The profiles explore different reasons for leaving academia, give a few tips on how to proceed with a new career, and provide examples of famous people who left academia for careers beyond the "ivory tower."