The best part of my job is when I get to tell faculty that they got promoted. For tenure- track faculty, this is a high-stakes game. If you are an assistant professor and don’t get promoted to associate professor in six years (about half of all new hires), you are looking for a new job. If you do get promoted, it is like getting an equity stake in the firm–your colleagues believe you are worth keeping around, value your insights and contributions to teaching and research. They believe that we are better as a college with you than without you. If you make a second promotion to Full Professor, it is a sign that you have a national reputation as an expert in your field and are someone who can be relied on to mentor others and help set the direction of the department and college.
Promotion is the end of a long process that starts with letters from accomplished scholars at other big name schools critiquing what you accomplished and then goes through a number of committees at the department, college and university level that vote on whether your work merits this reward. Department chairs, deans, provosts and university presidents also get a say. In the old days, lots of trees died in this eight-month process. Now its all done electronically. Our clinical faculty go through a similar process although it doesn’t involve external review and life-time employment isn’t on the line. Usually, once it makes it through to the provost and president, it is pretty much a done deal although technically it still needs board of trustee approval..
So, when I get to tell people they made it through the university (or they didn’t) and the decision is just waiting for board approval , I do it in person. This year, I got to tell lots of people they made it. Lots of smiles ensued as I made the rounds, shook people’s hands and let them know how proud we are that they are a part of us. So, for the record– Professor Pradeep Bhardwaj is being recommend to promotion to Full Professor. Professors Yu Tian, Sami Alpenda and Craig Crossley are being promoted to Associate Professor, pending board approval. Dr. Ray Sturm will become our first Senior Lecturer, Jeff Reinking an Associate Lecturer. Lynda Dennis, Lonny Butcher, Scott Buckstein, and Chis Leo are all being promoted to Associate Instructor. We continue to expect great things from all of these folks and are grateful we get to call them our colleagues.