Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Degenaro on his tenure portfolio

Bill Degenaro at the University of Michigan Dearborn has two posts up about working on his tenure portfolio. I'm hoping he says more about the process, but perhaps there are some things he wouldn't want to go into (just like I wouldn't want to go too much into my feelings about the three-year review process that some of us are in here). He does mention one thing that I think is similar with our situation here:
The university-wide format does not always allow for easy articulation of the work of humanists. I can see how some of the categories that represent the work of scientists can cause anxiety. I have nothing to put under patents, licensures, synergistic activities (the example given in the tenure guidelines literature: "developed a methodology for modeling and analysis of system robustness"... err, I haven't done that), or technical reviews. Does that make me look weak? Conversely, I find myself relegating some work--writing entries for encyclopedias, chairing the 4Cs nominating committee--to "other" sections.
We have a three-year review form tailored (I think) to the College of Arts faculty, but there are still a few things that need to be ironed out about it. In the version that I used (given to us in Excel worksheet format, natch), you could get 100 points in research for publishing in an SSCI ranked journal, 80 for publishing in TSSCI, and 50 for other journals. No distinction was made for A&HCI or THCI. (This situation will be changed in the near future, I hope.)

Fortunately, I haven't been required to detail any synergistic activities I've been involved in (sounds mighty personal, if you ask me).


Clyde Warden said...

Two nothing journals equal one SSCI??? You guys have made things easy, if not a bit confusing! Or, is it a result of what I've seen at so many schools: no one on the committee making the rules has any real publishing experience. So, just make something up. (That is not a question, so please don't answer). ;-)

Jonathan Benda said...

Well, I'm going to answer anyway. (You can't stop me!) I agree there's a problem with the system. The problem, though, is more complicated than "two nothing journals equal one SSCI"--as you know, the journals that haven't gotten into the SSCI (or AHCI) ranks are of widely (or wildly) varying quality. The current system we've got for evaluating faculty doesn't take this into consideration. I'd like to see if any other universities' humanities programs have come up with anything fairer so I could suggest it to our school.