by David D. Perlmutter
Harvard University Press, 2010
eISBN: 978-0-674-05951-1 | Cloth: 978-0-674-04878-2
Library of Congress Classification LB2335.7.P47 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 378.1214


“Sitting down with a young and brilliant mathematician, I asked what he thought were his biggest problems in working toward tenure. Instead of describing difficulties with his equations or his software programs, he lamented that (a) his graduate assistant wasn’t completing his tasks on time, (b) his department chair didn’t seem to care if junior faculty obtained grants, and (c) a senior professor kept glaring at him in faculty meetings. He knew he could handle the intellectual side of being an academic—but what about the people side? ‘Why didn’t they offer “Being a Professor 101” in graduate school?’ he wondered.”

Promotion and Tenure Confidential provides that course in an astute and practical book, which shows that P&T is not just about research, teaching, and service but also about human relations and political good sense. Drawing on research and extensive interviews with junior and senior faculty across many institutions, David D. Perlmutter provides clear-sighted guidance on planning and managing an academic career, from graduate school to tenure and beyond.

Topics include:

— Making the transformation from student and protégé to teacher and mentor
— Seeking out and holding onto lifelong allies
— How to manage your online reputation and avoid “death by Google”
— What to say and what not to say to deans and department chairs
— How meeting deadlines wins points with everyone in your life
— How, when, and to whom to say “no”
— When and how to look for a new job when you have a job
— How (and whom) to ask for letters of recommendation
— What to do if you know you’re not going to get tenure