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Writing And Publishing Your Way To Tenure

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.530.1 - 1.530.7

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Paper Authors

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Rick L. Homkes

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

Session 2275

Writing and Publishing Your Way to Tenure

Rick Homkes Purdue University - Kokomo


New engineering and technology faculty have come into one of the best jobs in the world. They are able to teach and learn in a field they love. They have worked hard to achieve this position, as it took many years to get an advanced degree. For some, there were additional years acquiring practical knowledge and experience in industry. It often comes as a surprise when they realize that they have to work even harder to keep the position they have worked so hard to obtain. Publishing is an important part of this work. While a list of publications will not guarantee tenure, the lack of publications can seriously hurt chances for a favorable outcome. For some faculty, getting started in publishing is not a problem. A research background from graduate school can be used as a springboard, especially if there are graduate students available to help with the research. For others, however, including most technology faculty, undergraduate teaching is the main purpose in their academic life. They have a different situation with respect to how and where to publish. There are rankings (written or unwritten) of publications that must be learned as some publications count more than others in the tenure decision process. Some institutions endorse publications supporting the teaching and course development missions as well as pure research, while others view them as less valuable. Additional issues, such as co- authoring, mentoring, and inter-disciplinary work, must also be faced. This paper discusses these issues from the perspective of a fifth-year faculty member who is currently going through the tenure decision process. Tips on how to get started, where to look for publication venues, and how to handle rejection are given, along with ideas on how to present and enhance the publications list in the promotion and tenure document.

The Tenure Track

Obtaining a tenure track position at the university of choice is a real joy. The next hurdle, you quickly realize, is that you must obtain tenure in order to stay. Tenure soon becomes the “Holy Grail” that the new assistant professor quests after, sometimes without knowing exactly what it is. Tenure, an old concept related to academic freedom, is most often defined in accordance with guidelines from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). A summary of these guidelines follows:

1) The purposes of tenure are to provide for freedom in teaching, research, and outside activities and for economic security in order to attract people into the profession. 2) Tenure is defined as permanent and continuous except for age or retirement. 3) Dismissal can be for adequate cause only. 4) Financial exigencies, when given as adequate cause for dismissal, must be demonstrably bona fide.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Homkes, R. L. (1996, June), Writing And Publishing Your Way To Tenure Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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