My university has a 6-year tenure clock. I’m now at year 5, which is when I should be submitting my tenure dossier. Since I am almost surely going to receive my R01 based on its recent score, I was feeling gung ho about submitting this year, even though I had previously received a 1-year extension just in case I didn’t get the grant.
Just before Christmas I received an email from our tenure and promotions committee chair who asked what my plans were. He offered to review my CV and have three other members of the committee give me a pre-review as well. All four of them said that I need more papers and that I should wait a year. I was livid! Every annual review I’ve had up to this point said I was doing great, and that all I needed was the R01. So how could this have changed?
I went to my department chair to get another opinion. She agreed that I should wait a year. Again, I thought, “how can everyone be so cavalier with a year of my life?” She recognized that I was upset and explained their perspective.
No one in my department wants to see me be denied tenure. They want my case to be a slam-dunk. It’s as simple as that. I’m just short of one of the published metrics for the recommended minimum number of papers for our college. I thought this was not a problem since my papers have been high impact. However, everyone would really like to have me meet the metric so that there is no guesswork involved. I eventually decided that it wasn’t so unreasonable for me to wait a year now that I understood where they were coming from.
The other thing that happened is that my chair said that she would look into increasing my salary since I am in fact doing well, and I would potentially be foregoing the salary increase of an associate professor for a year. I don’t know whether this will actually happen, but that also made waiting a year a little easier to swallow.