Saturday, April 23, 2016


So this week I received a letter in my mailbox at work from the Provost's office. The letter states that the Provost is recommending to the board of trustees that I be promoted to associate professor with tenure. Can I start calling myself a tenured professor or do I need to wait until the new school year starts? When do I throw myself a party? My schools leadership doesn't bother making any announcement or acknowledging this accomplishment.

My department is already treating me as a tenured professor. I really feel like they are setting me up for an administrative path, maybe to be the next department chair. I've had a bunch of new admin tasks hoist upon me this spring, could partly be because of me raising questions and commenting on inefficiencies of how the department is being run. I don't mind doing these things if they actually become enacted, which since I'm not chair, it's not obvious that they will be. I also seem to be pretty good at them. The question is, is this me? I've never seen myself as going the admin route. I'm not good at fundraising, which seems to be the most important part of my chair's job (also the only thing they seem to be good at).

I love science and engineering, but my funding levels suggest that I'm mediocre at these endeavors. What is the best metric for evaluating science/engineering accomplishment in academia? All of my graduated students have gotten great jobs in industry or gone on to top graduate programs. I publish regularly, but only in mid-level journals.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Idea for passive agressive submission

I recently had a paper torn apart by reviewers at a society level journal. This was a paper I was actually quite proud of, and even the editor sent me a separate note apologizing. If they were really sorry, they would have sent it to a second set of reviewers. The reason I thought my paper was appropriate for the sort've fancy journal is because they recently had published one on a very similar topic, using a very different approach that had far fewer results and far less value than what I had submitted. So my idea is to resubmit my paper and to ask the editor to send the paper to the reviewers that accepted for publication the other paper. I don't know who those reviewers are, so is there any reason for the editor not to honor my request? This also subtly points to the lottery of reviewing luck that seams to be occurring at this journal. I used to publish there a lot when I was a graduate student, back when it's publisher wasn't obsessed with impact factors. I want to employ this for glam mag submissions as well. Refer the editors to a paper in their journal that is similar and you know yours is clearly better than the crap they let in.