Carmen Tejeda-Delgado, writing in Inside Higher Ed, discusses “Things I Wish I Had Known” while on the tenure track.
Among the advice for emerging scholars working to earn tenure: Joining (or forming) a publication group and signing on with a cohort collaboration:
First, join a publication group or cohort. This can be considered one of the most important tips of all. Some campuses have pre-established publication cohorts that take many different interdepartmental and intradepartmental forms, such as department cohorts, college cohorts and university cohorts. Part of earning tenure is the publication piece, also known as “scholarly activity or practice.”
Many would argue it is the piece that may carry the greatest weight. However, combining publication with collaboration with colleagues can offer even greater benefits. Junior professors achieve tenure when they have developed supportive mentors and colleagues. Many are denied tenure when they have developed career-destroying adversaries. Prolific junior faculty members can be denied tenure because of a lukewarm letter of support from senior colleagues. And some not-so-prolific junior faculty members have achieved tenure with a less-than-stellar publication record but an impressive collegial history. Establishing strong and authentic relationships with not only members of your own faculty, but also with senior colleagues outside your university, can sometimes be the difference between making tenure and not making tenure.
Carmen Tejeda-Delgado is an assistant professor of education at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.