On the occasion of becoming tenured faculty, I thought I’d write a blog post. That was many months ago. You can tell tenured life is no different from untenured life. Sure I made resolutions about things I would do differently, that would somehow magically be enabled by the mere fact of having tenure. Among them
- Spend more time engaged in intellectually stimulating discussion with students
- Spend more time with faculty who approach me about applying network analysis to their research
- Go to more talks
- Pursue wacky research ideas
- Approach teaching with renewed gusto
About a month and a half into it, I can report that I’m actually doing less of 2 and 3, breaking even on 1 and 4, and barely holding my head above water with 5.
I should have known, actually, because 1-5 all assumed that somehow I would have more time. And that is one of the things that tenure doesn’t buy you. There is a story related to this. There was a reception for all newly promoted faculty this past May. A senior colleague told me how nice these events were and so I was looking forward to it. I think it started at 6:30. As I approached the art museum (where it was being held) at 6:45, the provost was running down the front steps, like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight. When I entered, my dean was happy to see me, because she too had to leave and wanted to congratulate me before she did. I spent the next 10 minutes talking to another faculty member about a potential grant proposal. When I turned around I realized that although there were plenty of appetizers left, the faculty, well, they had all hurried off. It was maybe 7:10pm.