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

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's All Over Except For The Certified Letter

Wednesday I got the notification that my tenure decision has sailed through the Provost and the Chancellor. All that has to happen now is for the Board of Trustees to rubber-stamp it and send me the official notification--through certified mail. That should happen sometime this month.

The tenure process is so long and drawn out that each milestone seems uneventful. I barely mustered a smile when I read the email (it didn't help that I was courting a migraine). However it seems this particular milestone is the one that "counts." The head of my department send an email to all faculty stating that both myself and my colleague are now tenured. I've been congratulated several times over--through email and in person--ever since.

Don't get me wrong, it is great to have job security (especially in today's climate) and to have the support of my colleagues. I treasure both and I love my job but the news is anti-climatic and it is hard to celebrate. My life is no different from one day to the next. It feels less like an event has happened and more like an event has been avoided. Nonevents (not losing your job) are hard to celebrate.

It will be interesting to see how much and in what ways tenure makes a difference in my life. I do believe it will, as I have seen it with others, but I don't think it affects you the way you think it will when you are working towards getting it.

In other news, Angel is supposed to be coming tomorrow to move out the last of his possessions. So April begins with me officially becoming an empty-nester with tenure. It seems like I should now have enough time to do something really remarkable. Is it wrong that all I feel like doing is lying in the sun with a Guinness and my hubby?


Seeking Solace said...


I think you should celebrate. Seems to me it's supposed to be very warm this weekend!!!

Julie said...

Congratulations! It may be anti-climatic at this point, but it is a wonderful accomplishment. I think drinking a Guinness in the sun is a perfect way to celebrate.

Ianqui said...

Congrats, although I *totally* shared your experience. The whole thing was so anti-climactic, and even my department barely even congratulated me when it happened. Furthermore, life after tenure so far actually seems a lot harder than it did before, and I've only been officially tenured since September. But I've already been given a lot more crap to do, AND that's even while I'm on sabbatical! So yes, it's nice to have job security, but in some ways tenure affects the job negatively as well.

Drax said...

Congratulations. Well-fought (the poor kitty) and well- earned (the crunch of logic twixt your ears, ah, your delicate ears...)

ruth pennebaker said...

Wonderful news. Strange, though, that not getting it would have been a tragedy -- but getting it just doesn't have the same heart-pounding drama to it.