Wednesday, November 09, 2011

the step-12 program for academic success!

The 12-Step Program for Academic Success
Step Twelve:

All of your academic skills having been honed through these other steps, the last and most important hurdle is left before you.

Why is tenure so important? Why is any permanent job with no supervision and no real duties important? Why did you enter academia in the first place, to study great ideas and literature?

The process basically involves no new steps, but involves engaging in all forms of academic excellence at once. Certainly schmoozing is of the essence of the tenure process, now taken to the extreme of schmoozing your friends and colleagues, the dean of your college, your department head, and sometimes even students. It's abhorrent, but always keep your eyes on the prize.

Can anyone be guaranteed tenure? There are anecdotes told of a professor-to-be hiring private investigators to discover helpful information about the President of a major Midwestern university. It turned out the President was sleeping with the professor-to-be's significant other. Rather than sink into Victorian bourgeois morality, the prospective tenured faculty member did the right thing: used the information to advantage. Alter your domestic life only after it has been utile in winning the ultimate status of academia: an unimpeachable position in a job-for-life.

Think of it: you and Josef Stalin!

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