TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chronicle: Pack Voting in Tenure Decisions

TenureChronicle of Higher Education:  Know the Vital Players in Your Career: The Tenured Factions:

How voting groups in the faculty decide to support or oppose your P&T candidacy.

When it comes time for your faculty colleagues to vote on your tenure case—aye, nay, or abstain—you need to know that most of them aren't voting entirely on their own. They're voting in packs.

In this series about the players who can affect your career, I focused first on the chair and then on the head of the department's promotion-and-tenure committee. Now I'd like to turn to the role played by tenured faculty members. How they vote is rarely idiosyncratic or random. There tend to be constituencies of like feeling and opinion. Understanding those constituencies early in your career and identifying which faculty members fall into which category will give you some sense of who will decide your fate, why, and what you might do to win them over.

  • By-the-bookers
  • Ascenders
  • Collegials
  • In-my-dayers
  • Politicals & hobby-horsers

(Hat Tip: Greg McNeal.)

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