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A Successful Path To Tenure And Promotion

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.52.1 - 3.52.5



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Paper Authors

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John R. Williams

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Dr. Martin Pike

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2275

A Successful Path to Tenure and Promotion

John R. Williams, Martin Pike Purdue University School of Technology at Kokomo


Successful attainment of tenure and promotion at the end of a five-year path is the reward for the effort extended. This paper discusses the path, the process and the techniques used to ensure success, on the first attempt. Not everyone achieves tenure and promotion in their first effort. The roles of the mentors, the candidate, the department head and senior faculty are discussed. Key suggestions and questions that should be asked are offered for the candidates at every level of the process. While this paper discusses the Purdue University tenure process, these keys should be adaptable to other schools and universities.

The authors have written two previous papers on the topic, and this paper completes the trilogy, on a successful note. However, even failure to achieve promotion and tenure should be seen as simply another opportunity, and can be utilized as a tool toward career development.


The authors have presented two papers in previous sessions1,2 dealing with mentoring and the process of promotion and tenure. This paper completes the story of a successful tenure and promotion effort. Each of the major components, teaching, research and creative endeavor, and service are discussed, with emphasis on those components most familiar to the authors. The successful path to promotion and tenure also includes not only the activities and achievements of the candidate, but also the input and assistance of mentors, department head and senior faculty. These aspects will also be discussed as they relate to the success or failure to achieve promotion and tenure.

This particular story ends in success. Promotion and tenure were granted to an author. It is important to remember that this paper would still have been written even if the journey had ended with a different result. The path is always a learning process. Every step is an important piece of the whole puzzle, and the last piece is no more critical than the first. Failure to attain promotion and tenure would indicate that the puzzle has not yet been completed, not that the puzzle was incorrectly constructed or there were overwhelming weaknesses in the puzzle construction. As with every puzzle, successful completion is a function of eventually putting all the pieces together correctly, making some mistakes along the way but correcting and recovering from the mistakes is key. This paper is an attempt to help new faculty to avoid the big mistakes and recover from errors efficiently.

Williams, J. R., & Pike, D. M. (1998, June), A Successful Path To Tenure And Promotion Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7442

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