So, as I indicated a few months ago, I am applying for promotion to full professor this fall. Here is what I wrote then:
It has become apparent that I must apply for promotion to full professor in the fall, even though I am in no way certain of actually getting it. However, it hurts me not at all to apply, while the effect of me going up alongside others who will be applying will potentially have a positive effect, whether I get recommended for promotion or not. So. (Note: I am insecure about my application for reasons that have little to do with my CV. The tiny bit of myself that is insecure because of my CV is basically because of how I was “mentored” by senior professors in my department, even though my research is in fact stronger than any of theirs was when they applied for promotion to full.)
Let me amplify this tiny paragraph a bit. What I said about “mentoring” was an oblique way of me saying that I was actively discouraged (in some cases) and benignly ignored (in others) when I asked for advice about preparation to achieve full. And sure, I’ve done more than these assholes in my department who are the first hoop through which I must jump (all white males over the age of 50 – that’s right, we don’t have a single female full professor in our department, let alone anybody of any sex who is a person of color) have done in terms of scholarship, but that isn’t really my problem, at the end of the day. My “problem” (I put it in scare quotes because I’m sure they would) is the fact that I have been doing the work of three or four fucking people since attaining associate professor and tenure, and while I have been “thanked” (those are my scare quotes), I have not been recognized in any tangible way for my fucking excellence and for the fact that apparently I’m an unstoppable workaholic. In fact, the most “recognition” (my scare quotes again) I have received is to have a giant target on my fucking back and to be vilified for the good work that I do. Oh, and to have administrators let people vilify me in the interest of letting “everybody have a voice.” (To be clear: I don’t think assholes who suck at their job should ever have a voice. Because I am a little bit of a fascist in my heart. Or at the very least a monarch who believes in the Divine Right of Queens.)
Anyway, one of the things that has been preoccupying me this summer is the putting together of my promotion application. In some ways, this has perhaps been more preoccupying than it would have been in years previous, or in years subsequent to this one. See, we’ve got a new dean and a new provost who are entirely untested. Who knows what they will think? This, of course, leads one to flights of fancy where one tries to imagine “WHAT WILL THEY THINK WHEN THEY LOOK AT THIS EMAIL SAYING THAT I WRITE CLEAR AND ELEGANT PROSE? SHOULD I INCLUDE IT?”. I have no concrete evidence of what they think matters. Further, this is the “transition year” between submitting a physical binder (ONE AND ONLY ONE BINDER) and submitting all materials (NO SPACE LIMITATIONS) in an electronic format. Now, I WELCOME the electronic format. BUT, given the fact that all my department focused on for the past 10 years was using a highlighter (like, a HIGHLIGHTER) and putting all your shit in plastic sleeves (because that is “professional”), as opposed to talking about the CONTENT one should have for either earning tenure or earning full promotion (“We don’t want to limit people”), one is in a position of constructing this application without any guidance.
Luckily, the electronic format my institution has settled on is to build your application in Blackboard, which I am very comfortable using. And I had a 40-minute meeting with an instructional tech person and that answered any questions I did have. Further I have always measured myself against the standards of my field, so I am comfortable with my achievements in teaching, research, and service. In fact, in putting everything together, I am more than comfortable.
Let’s also note that I’ve developed EIGHT brand new courses since applying for tenure in 2008, I have a clear and consistent publication record – which I won’t detail here but which, while not R1 quality, does clearly meet the standards of my institution if not exceed them – and I spear-headed the first revision of our major in 30 years, and I was an integral worker in changing our General Education requirements, and I chaired committees… yeah, I feel like FUCK YOU to anybody who would dare to deny me.
But, see, this FUCK YOU is kind of the point of this post. First, I think wanting to fuck people over is a really shitty reason to apply for promotion, even though that is a strong motivation of mine. Second, I don’t believe really that I will be evaluated on the basis of my accomplishments, nor do I believe that those accomplishments will actually be weighed fairly against other people’s. Third, I think it really sucks that I am operating in a vacuum in compiling these materials and that I don’t feel comfortable being open about my desire to achieve full promotion or to ask for advice.
So what I’m doing in my application is this fucked up passive-aggressive thing where I promote myself but I also draw attention to everything that other people aren’t doing. I am daring them to deny my promotion, as opposed to seeking promotion. And I am passionately pushing myself forward, while also surreptitiously tearing other people down. This is all fucked up and wrong. And I hate it. And it shouldn’t be what happens.
And I certainly shouldn’t be thinking that it’s ok if they deny me promotion as long as they deny the people that I don’t believe should get it. That makes me not only a dick, but also an intellectually dishonest dick.
That said, those motherfuckers had better fucking vote to make me a full professor. Because I fucking deserve it.