If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Packet

This is the year before I put my packet in. I came to my institution as an Associate Professor without tenure, which means I have a 5 year contract. I'm starting my 3rd year; need to put my packet in the beginning of my 4th year; it will take them a year to officially decide if I "pass" or not; I'll have a year to find another job if I don't.

To get this job I answered an ad that seemed like it was written specifically for me. Or at least the me I was in my old job--not the me I wanted to be. I applied as a back-up. At the end of the first interview I found out it was a targeted search. There already was another "me" that the ad was written for and they had every intention of hiring him. However they really liked me. They were also interested in the research agenda that the "new me" wanted to pursue. So our then Department Head, who is an amazing recruiter, talked the Dean into hiring both of us--him as him (or old me) and me as new me.

This made everybody happy.

Now Old Me and New Me both have to get their packets together this year. We decided to meet every other week and share the pain. Today was our first meeting and ex-Department Head sat in with us to help. He will meet with us periodically to mentor us through the process.

It's a great department and I love the people. I know everyone wants us both to succeed and--at the risk of sounding big-headed--we both rock. That is, we both have a ton of research experience and very healthy CVs and shouldn't have a lot of trouble getting through the whole process. But we're both perfectionists and ambitious and the type of people that need to do it 100% if we're going to do it at all.

Today I found out just how much work this is going to take. I need to write up and document every frickin' thing on my CV, which is A LOT (I know an embarrassment of riches but still). I've been publishing and writing grants since 1993 and now I have to narrate and document all of that. On top of that there are things I really really want to accomplish this year to move my new research agenda forward. So basically I have to document and defend my old research life so I'll be allowed to continue on my new research life. Actually it is more like I need to use my past research life to prove I'm capable of making the same progress in my new research life. It's all good...but the year was feeling busy enough before today's meeting.

1 comment:

Dr. Bad Ass said...

Wow. That does sound like a lot of work. When I was writing the narrative to go with my packet, I was told NOT to go item by item on my CV. Instead, I was to describe patterns in my research, highlight connections between research and teaching, etc. I CAN'T IMAGINE having to do what you're doing. Yuck. All the best as you wade through it.