April 13, 2004

If I Had Known About This Option

I would have continued with my PhD. College faculty with short-term renewable contracts and an emphasis on teaching? That would have worked out perfectly for me in a lot of ways: less pressure to perform in the areas I wasn't interested in; the ability to focus on what I really loved about the discipline: teaching and interacting with students; and probably more flexibility about having a family. Let's face it--if I had done the tenure-track thing, having The Boy would have been postponed until afterward, which could have easily turned into Never.

Read the article and check out the discussion. I also find it interesting that the highest concentration of the "professors of the practice" are found in the humanitites. Seems to me that Humes is very well-suited to this sort of thing.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at April 13, 2004 09:51 AM

I've never understood tenure. But then as Kissinger said, it's small stakes so anything at all can rise to matter.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at April 13, 2004 02:10 PM

It's always been possible to work for institutions of higher learning that focus on teaching and tend toward short-term contracts rather than tenure. It's just that those places tend not to be big name universities. They tend to be Texas cow colleges, or little private universities in the mountains of Idaho, or community colleges. If you really want to teach on the university/college level -- if that's what you actually want to do, rather than doing research -- you can do it without fretting over tenure. You do, generally, have to be willing to give up the prestige of saying, "Oh, yes, I'm a professor at Duke," though.

Posted by: delagar at April 15, 2004 01:44 PM