Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Doctoring the Tenure Track

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Doctoring the Tenure Track

Article excerpt

Earlier this year I got involved in quite detailed conversations with my head of department about a tenured post at the university where I currently teach one day a week as an assistant lecturer. However, I then found myself barred from applying for the job by specifications that required the successful candidate to have a PhD and a track record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals and appearing at academic conferences. Having been warned that this was likely, I wrote an application that stressed the importance - especially in my field - of good teachers with wide experience, not simply career researchers. However, because I don't have a doctorate and am not yet on the conference/journal circuit, my application was automatically rejected.

I challenged the university's capriciousness. I argued that I was in my late fifties before I became interested in teaching, that when I graduated in the 1970s people in my field didn't usually take doctorates but could still gain tenure, and that my department had already shown by employing me and discussing tenure with me that it thought highly of my career and work. …

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