Recharging Our Batteries

Women in German Conference 2013

Professional Development Workshops

“Recharging Our Batteries At Mid-Career”, a discussion facilitated by

Mareike Herrmann and Barbara Kosta

I. Readings/Links on the topic:

• MLA Report “Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey. Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession” (Web publication, 27 April 2009, see attached PDF), and the Key Findings of the Report (PDF attached)

• Gill, Rosalind. “Breaking the Silence: The Hidden Injuries of Neo-liberal Academia,” in Flood, R. & Gill, R. (Eds.) Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections. London: Routledge, 2009. (PDF attached)

• Scott Jaschik, “Unhappy Associate Professors,” Inside Higher Ed June 4, 2012 http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/04/associate-professors-less-satisfied-those-other-ranks-survey-finds

 • Kerry Ann Rockquemore, “Finding Your Mid-Career Mojo: Post-Tenure Pathways,” Inside Higher Ed June 25, 2012. http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2012/06/25/essay-how-faculty-members-can-chart-meaningful-post-tenure-career (Warning: This article focuses on individual strategies without taking into consideration broader institutional and sociopolitical structures.)

II. Notes from the Discussion: Best Practices

• Plan and think strategically about your career. Think of your career in longer stretches, not just from beginning to tenure, but beyond from beginning to full professor; keep in mind your goals and look for ways to fulfill them. Design a 12-14 year plan. (Regular journaling on this topic might be a good way to do this.)

• Engage in topics, discussions/debates, or tasks that excite and recharge you. Think outside the box in your research, teaching, etc.

• Establish and maintain boundaries regarding your time (e.g., have a clearly stated email and office hour policy, be clear about what tasks/charges you are willing/able and unwilling/unable to take on, don’t answer student emails after working hours, etc.) Set time aside for research.

• Become part of a mentoring network: Find mentors (and be a mentor) both at your institution and beyond (use the WiG address list to stay in touch after the conference). Talk to likeminded people about your research and teaching, and actively seek advice from them about issues like committee assignments, chairing, promotion,=

• Start or become part of a writing (or reading/discussion) group. E.g., start a boot camp at your institution (meet with colleagues once weekly for 2-3 hours in a quiet place, write together – use timers, take a break, debrief at the beginning and at the end of the writing session). Start a mini-colloquium in which you present your research on a regular basis.

• Stay positive, avoid negative people (or avoid engaging in their negativity).

• Engage your students in your research (e.g., through transcriptions, discussion, etc.) and in your teaching (use T.A.s or student assistants for a variety of tasks), incorporate as much as possible your research and interests into your teaching.

• Work at your institution (through committees, union, individual lobbying, etc.) to change the culture and raise awareness of the issues. Work towards increased clarity in criteria, a mentoring system, gender equity and promotion criteria, i.e. know exactly what is required for promotion to full Ask your institution to provide data on where it stands compared to the average/mean, as reported by the MLA study.