Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

By Emily Toth | Go to book overview

You’re Hired!
Early Years in a Strange New World

When Should You Grab a Sword?

Q (from “Hotspur”): Because I wanted to get a jump on my new life, I moved to “Midsize University” in July Im a brand new assistant professor.

But in my very first week, I had a huge fight over a twenty-dollar purchase with my department chair, who informed me very rudely that I was “off to a bad start.” Since then, “Dr. Chair” has tried to keep me in the dark about how the university operates, so he can maintain power over me. He micromanages endlessly and refuses to believe we need a secretary for our department (seven faculty members), which means that I have to do all of my own clerical work. He disparages everyone outside our department, and many of the people within it.

It’s gotten so bad that even before classes started, I went to talk with our campus dispute mediator. I couldn’t talk to any of the senior faculty members, who have bad blood between them. Until I found out about the mediator, I had to keep all this bottled up inside myself.

One possibility the mediator mentioned was having a different chair, which would improve things for me. But I worry that by going through mediation and forcing a change, I will be hated forever by Dr. Chair. Should I get out as quickly as possible?

Q (from “Harriet”): Though I’m a lowly graduate student, I’ve been made the coordinator in charge of the “Intro to Psychology” sections at my university. The professor who usually runs them (“Dr. Usual”) is on sabbatical, and when no other professor wanted the job, it fell to me.

-94-

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Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • The Petty and the Profound What They Write to Ms. Mentor 1
  • Stewing in Graduate School 9
  • Foraging for an Academic Job 43
  • Love and Sex in Academia 68
  • You’re Hired! Early Years in a Strange New World 94
  • The Fine and Quirky Art of Teaching 123
  • Working and Playing Well with Others 146
  • Questions Great and Small 175
  • Adjuncts 194
  • The Tenure Trek 207
  • What Is Life after Tenure? 230
  • Are You the Retiring Type? 238
  • Daring to Create Your Own Life 242
  • Ms. Mentor’s Exemplary Bibliography 247
  • Index 257
  • Acknowledgments 266
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