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Information for Mid-Career Faculty

You’ve achieved tenure and the question becomes – now what? Mid-Career Faculty often have to balance a ‘new normal’ of increased teaching and service while maintaining and growing their research profile. The Faculty Development Center is here to help you navigate this time of transition and ward off the mid-career malaise. Resources below are provided to support mid-career faculty with sabbatical planning, defining your professional development goals, scholarly and research productivity, and leadership skills. We look forward to working alongside your as you reflect on how you want to continue to grow professionally and maintain excitement for your work with students, colleagues, and for your scholarship.

Mid-Career Reading List

Why Are Associate Professors Some of the Unhappiest People in Academe? An article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, describes some of the challenges faced by mid-career faculty in an effort to illuminate ways to address them, including faculty support groups, professional development programs, and taking time for reflection.

Making Mid-Career Meaningful. This article provides insight into mid-career faculty life (post-tenure) through the use of five metaphors which help to tackle questions such as: what are appropriate mid-career goals? What is successful performance at mid-career? What forms of support do mid-career faculty need?

 A New Associate Professor Adjusts to Life After Tenure. Reflections from a newly tenured Professor in the Chronicle of Higher Education on her first year as a tenured member of her community, including advice to make the most of the tenure transition.

Avoiding PTDS: Post-Tenure Depression Syndrome. This Chronicle of Higher Education article asks “why are the years after academics have ‘made it’ so gloomy?” Thoughts about how to prevent such gloom before they occur are provided.

Advice for Newly-Tenured Faculty. From Inside Higher Ed, this piece reviews the three biggest mistakes newly tenured professors commonly make.

Mid-Career Professional Development Resources

 

Clarify Your Goals and Direction: Below is a series of articles written by Kerry Ann Rockquemore, President and CEO of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, focused on mid-career faculty. Working through the series in order may be most helpful, as each includes a set of questions to consider as you move through the content.

  1. I Got Tenure, Now What?
  2. Who Do you Think You Are?
  3. What Do You Love?
  4. How Do You Feel? 
  5. Mapping Your Post-Tenure Possibilities 
  6. Post Tenure Pathways
  7. Time to Choose Your Post-tenure Pathway

Rebrand Yourself: Mid-career faculty often find opportunities to chart a new course post-tenure. This Inside Higher Ed essay describes how mid-career faculty can combat ‘post-tenure depression’ by taking a step back to reevaluate and ‘rebrand’ themselves and their routine to counteract negative feelings. The author provides concrete tips such as mapping one’s mentoring network and identifying needs and includes a series of ‘weekly challenges’ to get started.

External Service and Leadership: Many mid-career faculty decide to assume external leadership roles with professional organizations, conferences, and community agencies. Make the most of the Dean’s Office funding to support faculty travel to Professional Conferences.  For more information please find policy number 166.1 in the Faculty Policies and Procedures.

Grants and Research Administration: Are you ready to take on that major grant project or launch a new research direction?The Furman’s Grant and Research Administration website offers information about Sponsored Programs, including but not limited to University and Federal Regulations for Proposal Submissions, Information on Potential Sources of Grants Funding and Information on Proposal Preparation.

Leadership Development @ Furman: Learn about your strengths and sharpen your listening and leading skills in a series of professional development events with Dr. Courtney Quinn. Email Dr. Quinn for more information about this program.

Scoring on Sabbaticals: This Tomorrow’s Professor posting gives some excellent tips on how to make sabbaticals more productive and enjoyable.

Checklist of Best Practices for Mid-Career Faculty Advancement: This list, from Michigan State University’s ADVANCE project provides a brief checklist of ideas for making the most of your mid-career status and provides ideas to help your flourish as you transition into a new stage of your career.