Boys Don’t Cry (or at least the shouldn’t when they are interviewing you for a job) by Natalie Weaver

Natalie Weaver

I want to begin by saying that I am grateful for my work.  It is no small thing to have a relatively secure academic position, especially in a climate when tenured and full-time appointments represent a disgracefully small percentage of all teaching positions throughout the country.  Nevertheless, a certain degree of professional movement is welcome for the purposes of growth and renewal if and when opportunity arises.  It is on this basis that I have been receptive on a few occasions to apply for appointments at the invitation of search committee chairpersons.  When I have been solicited for an application, I have in turn applied.

It is a curious thing because when you are contacted out of the blue you think something like… “ah, they must like me… they must know something about my work.”  And, it is true that on the occasions when I was asked to apply for something, I was invited to come in for an interview.  This furthers, of course, thoughts like… “great, this is going somewhere.”  And, in my case anyway, I start thinking about and even planning in a tentative way for what a move would constitute, the logistics of change, the impact on my family, the disruption of my current obligations, and so on.  Showing up for an academic interview midcareer involves much more than preparing a research presentation, which is also no small task.  The whole affair is psycho-socially weighty, and that reality is intensified by the fact that it drags on for months.  It can take more than six months from the time of the initial contact to the interview to receiving news of the final outcome. Continue reading “Boys Don’t Cry (or at least the shouldn’t when they are interviewing you for a job) by Natalie Weaver”

Getting Tenure, Part II: On Being the First of My Kind by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

“I am honored to be the first person of Taiwanese heritage, and first Asian American woman, to have earned tenure at CST.”

I’ve recently recounted how it took a village for me to complete the rite of passage known as tenure review. I want to reflect now on the significance of my having become the first Asian American woman (n.b., third Asian American of any gender), and first person of Taiwanese descent to have earned tenure at my institution.

My first thought upon realizing those statistics was something like:  “Wow−what an honor!”

But my second thought has been more like:  “Really?  How is it possible that simply being a newly tenured Asian American who is neither Korean nor male would be enough for me to make institutional history?”   Continue reading “Getting Tenure, Part II: On Being the First of My Kind by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

Getting Tenure, Part I: It Took a Village by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

 “[T]he many sacrifices made for my career have not been borne by me alone….Here are some of the ‘villagers’ to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.”

On December 1, 2011, the full professors at Claremont School of Theology unanimously recommended two of my colleagues and me for tenure. Provided that the Board of Trustees approves their recommendation and two extremes never come to pass (either “financial exigency” compels my institution to start laying off people willy-nilly or I do something professionally or morally egregious enough to be dismissed “for cause”), I now have a job for life! :)  Continue reading “Getting Tenure, Part I: It Took a Village by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

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