Well, I warned you back in September, and I was right: My autumn overload was too much to allow weekly niceties such as visiting my online journal and communicating with all of you.
I have missed this space. Truly. I’m hopeful I will have more time to spend with you in the spring, as I have a lot of exciting news and fun thoughts to share. Unfortunately, I just got word the Powers That Be at Avila want to saddle me with another overload for spring. It’s within my right to refuse, of course, so…We are working on that. I will keep you posted.
In the mean time, a few updates.
First, great news! I’ve had three manuscripts accepted for publication. I’ll talk about one of them here and save the other two for later posts.
Ecological Restoration has accepted a manuscript based on my studies of native bees in prairie remnants and organic gardens in the Kansas City area. Even more exciting, the article will be featured with a cover photo by Matt Kelly of the Bee Report. I couldn’t be happier about this. It’s an important reaffirmation and great inspiration for the next stage of my research. Despite my teaching load, I have managed to move forward with some bee work thanks to the wonderful and very capable students who joined my lab. I’ll post more about that and my Ecological Restoration article in the coming weeks.
Second, I’m very happy to report I’ve been recommended for promotion to the rank of Full Professor at Avila.
For those of you unfamiliar with the academic track, this is a big deal. When faculty are hired at an institution, we generally start out as assistant professors. From there, we can apply for promotion to associate professor and then, eventually, to full professor. We can also apply for tenure along the way, which is a separate process. I started as an assistant professor at Avila. Several years later, I was promoted to associate and granted tenure. This fall, I applied for promotion to full professor.
Rank and tenure is never guaranteed, and the application process is long and tedious. At Avila, professors eligible for rank promotion assemble a hefty portfolio loaded with evidence of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In addition, letters of support are solicited from the candidate’s Dean, colleagues at the university, former students, and colleagues outside the university. Last but not least, all members of the candidate’s college have the opportunity to assess the candidate’s appropriateness for rank promotion. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen!
Once all the letters, evaluations, and so forth are gathered in one place, the portfolio and related materials are reviewed by two separate committees, the Peer Review Committee and the Rank and Tenure Committee (RTC). The RTC makes a final recommendation (yay or nay) to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who in turn passes on a recommendation to the University President. The President then has the discretion to award rank promotion or not.
As of this post, I have gone through all the most important steps of this lengthy process and earned a positive recommendation from the Rank and Tenure Committee. According to my Dean, everything else from here on out is rubber stamping. (Hope she’s right!) It’s a great honor to be recommended for promotion to the rank of full professor, and I’m very happy to share this announcement with all of you.
Those are the updates for now. We are heading into finals week at Avila, so I need to get back to my students and grading. Warm wishes to you as you navigate the holiday season!