Faculty life is challenging. Professors juggle teaching and advising students, research, committee assignments and much more, creating a difficult road for early-career faculty trying to get tenure. To help remedy this, Drs. Don Haviland, Laura Henriques and Anna Ortiz have recently published Shaping Your Career: A Guide for Early Career Faculty, which outlines challenges and offers insights to gaining tenure.
The work stems, in part, from Haviland’s research. “I followed several faculty for six years as they went through the tenure process,” Haviland said, “recording their triumphs and challenges and the things that tripped them up.”
The book offers tips that budding professors might not have learned in their educational programs. They hone their skills in conducting research, but often other skills are left unaddressed, like teaching a full load of classes, working on projects, fulfilling requests from the dean and protecting their boundaries. How can they put themselves in the best position to get tenure?
“You can’t say ‘yes’ to everything, but how do you say ‘no’ in a way that’s professional and collegial?” Haviland said.
The authors hope the book will give newer faculty a game plan for proactively managing their careers and providing them with tools for success.
Ortiz, who has authored a range of publications, has centered her research primarily on ethnic identity development and multicultural education, while Henriques has served as the secondary science credential coordinator.
“Don’t feel like you don’t have choices,” Haviland said. “Grab the steering wheel and drive your career.”