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Aspiration, Inspiration And Perspiration

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.90.1 - 4.90.7

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Paper Authors

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Allen Leybourne

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

Session 2275


Allen E. Leybourne The University of Southern Mississippi


Human activities, other than biological ones, occur primarily as a result of the conscious and unconscious, moment by moment, actions within our minds. In order to guide those actions, some internalized model, guiding the ricocheting of ideas and emotions in the brain would appear to be useful. An approach to developing such a model, based upon the concepts embodied in the title is developed. New faculty seeking tenure and ultimately promotion through the academic ranks can adopt this approach for guidance throughout their academic career. Successfully negotiating the academic ladder may be visualized as the attainment of a well-organized sequence of specific goals/aspirations. At times, one is inclined to spend significant time and energy on issues which in retrospect may be deemed to have been unnecessary; however, it is shown that careful delineation of aspirations provides focus and even helps to identify seemingly side issues that may actually merit attention. It is taken for granted that before a model becomes internalized (becomes part of the automatic reflective processes) it must first exist in a form that can be consciously adopted, hence the need for a framework leading to an effective externalized model. It is shown that even though all of us proceed through a process of more or less continuous adoption of aspirations, this process needs guidance. Aspiration, inspiration, and perspiration in combination may be used to construct a framework upon which the externalized model is based. Discussion of the interaction of aspiration, inspiration, and perspiration easily justifies the conclusions presented. The concepts are illustrated through numerous examples, some taken from personal experiences of the author.

I. Introduction

Upon entering the academic environment, new faculty members are conceptually introduced to the burdensome challenges of tenure and promotion, if not to their reality. Picking just the first of these, from the employees point of view, tenure may be variously viewed as a very long probationary period, a penitence that must be endured, as a challenge that must be met, a clearing of the bar so-to-speak, or even as simply a management tool designed to extract the greatest output from the employee for the least input. In truth, tenure encompasses all of these.

In any case, tenure requirements must be met prior to being selected as a more or less permanent employee-- a very serious consideration indeed! But, why should such a process exist in the first place? Of the many occupations than an individual might pick to earn a living on this planet, a university teaching position has some very unique characteristics. Of these, the personal freedom to pursue almost any academic direction of the individual’s own choosing is

Leybourne, A. (1999, June), Aspiration, Inspiration And Perspiration Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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