Housework, busywork

My parents wrapped up a visit earlier this week. My father loves to paint, which clicked nicely with our current Big Renovation Project, which is getting the 600sf room in the front of our house in shape. (More photos.) The day before my folks left, he and Erin put up the final coat of paint. We still have to finish clearcoating the window trim and recondition and remount quite a bit of trim we removed to facilitate painting, but the bulk of the work is done.

My portion of the job was preparing the walls before priming: digging out cracks, scraping down alligatoring, skimcoating, patching, caulking etc. I’m not satisfied with the work I did; some of the patches are great (e.g. you can’t tell they were done), but quite a few are visible. Feh.

While the painters worked, I put together my portfolio for promotion to associate professor. (Western does promotion before tenure; the latter is in year six.) I don’t mind collating all the proof of my awesomeness (letters from committee chairs, publications, etc.). However, writing the “narrative summaries” drives me batty. They’re like Jasper Neel’s “Three Reasons for Stopping X,” except the topic is “promoting Bradley.” But I can’t bring myself to crank out a bunch of crappola, either. So I whack my head against them and try to make them halfway decent.

At least I found out yesterday that I’ve got very little work left to do before the document is done.

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5 Responses to Housework, busywork

  1. Clancy says:

    I’ve never heard of promotion before tenure, only the other way around. How does that work? If you get denied promotion (not going to happen, but just for the sake of argument), would that jeopardize your tenure case or affect the tenure clock in any way? Do you have to put yourself up for promotion before being considered for tenure, or is it just what most people do?

  2. cbd says:

    I’ve been told promotion before tenure is most common at schools like Western where it’s an incentive to stick around. In my fourth year (now), I apply for associate. If I get it, the rank is effective the start of my fifth year (August 2007). Similarly, I’ll apply for tenure in year six, effective year seven.

    I don’t have to apply for associate, but the salary bump is quite substantial (about 25%) so I’d be silly not to. Even if I’m not promoted, whoever turns me down (dept, dean, provost) has to say why in writing.

    Lately the provost has said he does not want to tenure anyone denied or ineligible for promotion.

  3. Clancy says:

    Okay, so if you get promoted to Associate, then, it would seem that that’s a vote of confidence for your tenure case — in other words, it would be almost unheard of (barring something egregious like multiple sexual harassment complaints) to be denied tenure once you’re promoted to Associate.

    How do the publication requirements work? If you’ve published enough or gotten enough grant $$ to get promoted, is there then the expectation that you’ll do a little more publication during that 2-year interim after promotion and before tenure? Would the scholarly activity in the 2-year interim make or break your tenure case?

  4. cbd says:

    It is a major vote of confidence, though not officially, since the criteria are slightly different.

    Publication requirements are modest here. We have two categories of activities, and then subcategories in each one. Basically, I’m required to have one peer reviewed article, a few conference presentations, and three other things before promotion. That’s about all that’s needed for tenure as well.

  5. Clancy says:

    “Three other things”? What’s up with that?

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