Tips to Tenure

This workshop was presented by the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Engineering and Computing Faculty Mentor Program. Two workshops were held, one for each college, and six panelists presided over each of them. 44 faculty participated in these workshops.

The panelists provided faculty with perspectives from a variety of viewpoints, including deans, chairs, senior faculty and recently tenured faculty. The presenters each gave advice on the tenure and promotion process, followed by an interactive question and answer format.

At the CAS workshop, the panel included Meredith Newman (CAS), Tim Collins (BIO), Kelly Rein (CHM), Barry Levitt (PIR), Jaroslava Miksovska (CHM), and Victor Uribe (HIS). And at CEC, the panelists were Amir Mirmiran (CEC), Ranu Jung (BME), Ram Iyengar (SCIS), Malek Adjouadi (ECE), Arvind Argarwal (MME) and Arindam Chowdhury (CEE).

Results from the combined workshop evaluations showed that that faculty agreed the session lived up to their expectations, that the presenters gave useful suggestions, and that they were glad they took the time to participate. A document provided by Dr. Malek Adjouadi, outlining the Tenure and Promotion File (from the Tenure and Promotion Manual - revised 2007) was sent to all participants.

Faculty responded that they learned "the importance of external letters," "planning tenure application well ahead of time" and getting "to know your program officers at the funding agencies." Suggestions for future workshops included having "different workshops for the humanities and social sciences," and giving the panelists more time to speak" (the six panelists at each college had 10 minutes each).

Overall, faculty found the Tips to Tenure workshops to be "very useful," and that "the speakers were excellent and clear - they had a sense of humor and empathy for others." One assistant professor noted "I'm very glad we have these (workshops); it allows me to see what is coming up ahead and what resources FIU has for me, such as mentors." "Very informative and helpful, I learned a lot from the workshop."

Tips from the Panelist
Tips to Tenure CAS/CEC Pics
Tenure & Promotion File Handout

Detailed Evaluation Results for CAS & CEC Tips to Tenure Workshops (March 22 & 27, 2013)

39 faculty (11 women, 17 men, 11 unknown) completed evaluations out of 44 total participants.

Questions & Responses

The Tips to Tenure session lived up to my expectations
N=39 Mean=5.63 SD=.70 Range= 1 (strongly disagree)- 6 (strongly agree)

The session gave me useful suggestions.
N=39 Mean=5.74 SD=.70 Range= 1 (strongly disagree)- 6 (strongly agree)

I am glad I took the time to participate in the session.
N=39 Mean=5.79 SD=.70 Range= 1 (strongly disagree)- 6 (strongly agree)

Questions & Answers:

Please give an example of at least one thing you learned and will definitely take from the Tips to Tenure workshop to use in your daily research and work. (open-ended)

CAS comments:

  • Be collegial.
  • Ask for more than 5 letters.
  • Collegiality. 6-7 external letters.
  • Importance of external letters.
  • It was extremely helpful to be reminded that the audience of my file is outside my field and that I need to address them accordingly.
  • Remember that expectations can vary.
  • The discussion of letter writers will be helpful for future plans.
  • Elements of understanding the external review process.
  • Plan your research in longer (10 yr) terms.
  • Start putting your file together early - 1st year is not too early.
  • Think earlier about choosing outside evaluators.
  • Plan early.
  • Some more information related to external reviewers.
  • Follow directions.
  • I learned that what I’ve heard from my mentors all along is exactly right. And to be brutally honest about my progress.

CEC comments:

  • Think teaching as an integral part of research. Contact the program manager of the funding agencies.
  • Know your program officers at the funding agencies where you are submitting proposals for grants.
  • Expectations not explicitly outlined in guidebook.
  • Monitoring progress every semester, and planning tenure application well ahead of time.
  • Do bare minimum for service. Tenure is a by-product of good academic work. DOD is a long-term relationship worth pursuing. Know your program manager. View criticism as feedback.
  • To do a game plan (have it ready).
  • Don’t be afraid to move on.
  • Balancing my time. Integration of research and teaching.
  • I have to improve my interaction with program directors at NIH and NSF. I should work more on the statistical analysis in my proposals.
  • Tenure file items.
  • Start building tenure binder immediately, collect data and insert (e.g. PhD committee membership) so as not to forget later. DOD: if you can crack into it, it is a long-term relationship. Do not recommend SBIR before tenure.
  • Perseverance and persistence.
  • Explore collaborating within and among universities.
  • Prepare a binder for T & P.

Is there anything that could have been improved about this session?

CAS comments:

  • Provide sample letters; provide example cases where someone did not earn tenure.
  • With the recent shift to electronic submission, I think some info related to this process would be helpful: deadline, site, etc.
  • Knowing the actual dates for the process for this academic year and perhaps having examples of actual files.
  • I would like more practical information- how and when to fulfill requirements such as electronic filling of the tenure file. What to expect and exactly when. I like to plan in advance with respect to my schedule. How to update a submitted tenure file.
  • I would like to have learned more about taking an extra year for tenure, starting a family, etc.
  • Nothing I can think of now.
  • More diversity in depts. of panelists. CAS is very diverse.
  • No.
  • No. Good format and great panel.
  • Beginning and end of meeting could be listed more specifically.
  • This panel badly needed one humanities and one social scientist – perhaps these can be different sessions (in the future).

CEC comments:

  • Longer sessions? Smaller focus groups?
  • Maybe provide hard copies of the tips.
  • Very insightful.
  • There was some overlap among the message of the panel members.
  • Please allocate more time to the speakers.
  • Specific examples from recent pass/fail tenure cases may be projected, without names (if not appropriate, maybe exclude identifying info).
  • Little more time on Q&A would have been useful.
  • I think the organization and content are very good.
  • There is some overlap among the panelist tips. Maybe they can focus on a specific aspect.
  • Give us specific numbers for examples such as number of visits to the program managers and number of publication and impact factors etc.

General comments about the workshop:

CAS comments:

  • Very useful.
  • I had to leave early (to teach), so I was unable to hear every panelist. Please take my comments above (high scores) for what they're worth.
  • Thanks for a great session!
  • Speakers were excellent and clear. They had a sense of humor and projected empathy for others.
  • Very useful. Great having range of faculty (dept., admin and tenure).
  • Very good thank you!
  • Excellent initiative.
  • Very useful workshop and raised a lot of awareness about my tenure process.
  • I’m very glad we have these; it allows me to see what is coming up ahead and what resources FIU has for me, such as mentors.

CEC comments:

  • Very informative and helpful. I learned a lot from the workshop.
  • Very motivational. Thank you.
  • Great!
  • None.
  • Great.
  • Thank you for having this workshop.
  • It was very good. Thanks.
  • Very good.
  • Good workshop (was better than the UFF tenure (more useful) workshop).
  • Very nicely organized.
  • Very good and useful. Thanks!
  • It was really good to realize how difficult it is to get tenured and to understand what work should be done.
  • It would be nice to have a person do a presentation on grants and motivating grad students.