The Beach

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Last January, I discussed the detailed tenure and promotion process most academicians go through to move up the limited career ladder.  I was being sly (and somewhat disingenuous) in my discussion as I was going through that very process.  On January 31, I submitted my application for Associate Professor with a 46 page essay (which you can read here if you are incredibly bored or are looking for a sleep aid) along with supporting material.  After 3 (!!) long months, I learned last Friday that my application was supported and I will start the 2011-2012 year as an Associate Professor.

The first emotion I felt when I opened the letter informing me of the news was not joy, but immense relief.  The waiting and waiting for the decision had certainly taken its toll, as I grew frustrated by the lack of news.  But relief sooned turned to thoughts of "what now?" 
  •  Should I rest on my laurels? That'd be very easy to do...and I wouldn't be the first.
  • Can I be content at the rank I have achieved, knowing the difficult road that lies ahead if I choose to pursue the next level?
  • What will it eventually take to reach the pinnacle of any academic career - the rank of Professor?  
  • What will it take to demonstrate "sustained competence over time," given application to that rank is at least 5 years away?  
  • I have yet to start a family.  Can I maintain the energy and devotion needed to continue growth and prominence in my chosen field, particularly if a child enters the picture?
With finals coming to close, and a couple research projects in the mix, it will be a summer of both satisfaction of what I have accomplished, and contemplation of the future.

6 comments

Congratulations -- What a huge accomplishment!!

by Chris Havrilla on May 11, 2011 at 7:49 AM. #

Congrats my friend!!

by Robin Schooling on May 11, 2011 at 8:44 AM. #

Whatever you do please for the sake of all that is good in this world, rock the elbow patches on the tweed blazer... : )

by John on May 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM. #

Don't postpone the family gig if you think it is in your future. No job title has ever crawled up in a father's lap and said "I love you", or will be able to give you grandchildren. (Full disclosure to your audience: I have seven kids, so interpret my positions with due caution.)

by David on May 11, 2011 at 11:31 AM. #

@Chris & @Robin - Thanks as always for the support

@John - For the next HREvolution, I'll be sure to budget for that jacket with that whopping raise I am sure to get

@Dave - You have always been my hero and the wind beneath my wings.

by akaBruno on May 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM. #

Congratulations Matt! Very exciting news! And knowing you, you won't be able to rest on your laurels or be content. You will naturally be pursuing the next step.

David is right though - don't postpone the family for the career. The career can wait - the family can only wait so long. So what if it takes you 7 years instead of 5?

See you in Las Vegas if not before... we'll celebrate then!

by Jennifer Griffith on May 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM. #

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