Saturday, July 07, 2007
  Branding scholars
Abélard and Héloïse depicted in a 14th century manuscript
Abélard and Héloïse depicted in a 14th century manuscript
Source: Wikipedia
Not a terrible plot by the powers that be to identify the stroppy and awkward with a new tattoo, but Charles Halton's post on Awilum about scholars as academic brands.To give you a taster his first paragraph reads:
Academics is not merely about reading, teaching, and writing–it’s also about brand building. Want to get your new book idea distributed by a top-flight publishing house? Want to be asked to participate in the invitation-only conference? How about writing a major article for a prominent dictionary or encyclopedia? Ever dream of editing a journal? Want to recieve an endowed chair? You get the picture. In order to do anything of these things you need to be bright, dependable, and have good ideas. You also need to be a one-person brand.
A different, but effective way to think about academic careers - particularly recommended to recent PhDs and scholars with an early onset mid-life crisis ;-)

At this point I think I am (almost?) thanking God that I've never had an academic career! I've been teaching at tertiary level for the last quarter century, but always my employers have had activities and qualities they value much higher than "scholarship". Faith, integrity, simplicity... But the scholar as brand is not a new phenomenon, the early European Universities of the middle ages (even while they were religious institutions and their teachers "Religious") had their "stars" - think Piere Abélard ;-)

Labels: ,

Friday, February 23, 2007
  Promotion and Tenure New Criteria for New Media
Mark Goodacre has a good post responding to a document (whose status is unclear to me) from the New Media Department at the University of Maine, headed "Promotion and Tenure Guidelines Addendum: Rationale for Redefined Criteria" and titled more snappily: "New Criteria for New Media".

Mark open his post praising his (past and present) institutions for the support and encouragement they have given him. However, he also writes:
One of the difficulties is that in some institutions, those involved with appointments, promotions and tenure, have not yet realized how rapidly the scene has changed in the last decade or so, and just how valuable it can be to have academics who invest a lot of time and energy in new media.
Which is sadly both true and widespread. The Maine document he cites is more focused on creation of new media like websites, however an MLA report (discussed earlier this year in an Inside Higher Ed article "A Tenure Reform Plan With Legs") may well have more impact on us poor biblical scholars!

The article set the scene, with some ancient history:
In 1998, a group of provosts of research universities circulated a document calling for bold reforms of the tenure process. Traditional publishing was becoming an economic sinkhole, they argued. Junior professors couldn’t get published. University presses and journal publishers were losing too much money. Libraries couldn’t afford to buy the new scholarship that was published. Somehow, they argued, the system needed to change — with less emphasis on traditional publishing and more creativity about how to evaluate professors up for promotion.
How similar things are in 2006! The cloud (though no bigger than a man's hand) on the horizon is "a proposal being drafted by the Modern Language Association to fundamentally change how English and foreign language professors are reviewed for tenure."

A special panel of the MLA is finishing a report that will call for numerous, far-reaching changes in the way assistant professors are reviewed for tenure.

Inside Higher Ed reveals that:

Among the ideas that will be part of the plan are:

  • The creation of “multiple pathways” to demonstrating research excellence. The monograph is one way, but so would be journal articles, electronic projects, textbooks, jointly written books, and other approaches.

  • The drafting of “memorandums of understanding” between new hires and departments so that those new hires would have a clear sense of expectations in terms of how they would be evaluated for tenure.

  • A commitment to treating electronic work with the same respect accorded to work published in print.

  • The setting of limits on the number of outside reviews sought in tenure cases and on what those reviewers could be asked.

Comments by Charles Phelps, provost of the University of Rochester, are of particular interest for Biblical Scholars:
What the association is doing is “right on target,” he said, and from discussions with fellow provosts, he predicted that English departments would receive similar receptions in other administration buildings.

“The thing that is first and foremost to me is that these changes will happen when they come from the learned society in the relevant discipline — and the field buys into the idea of changing things,” Phelps said.

So, perhaps at the next CARG we should be lobbying for SBL to start a similar process?

Labels: , ,

SEARCH Tim's sites
Posts listed by topic
My academic CV

Write to Tim

January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 /

biblical studies blogs:

other theology/church blogs:


Powered by Blogger

Technorati Profile

Yellow Pages for Auckland, New Zealand