FFPP Mentor Bridgett M. Davis has a lot to celebrate! Her memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers will not only be the first year text for Fall 2020, but it will be adapted for a feature film — to be released by Searchlight Pictures, the Disney-owned arthouse studio, and produced by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment. For details, see The Hollywood Reporter. For more details, see Detroit Metro Times.
In this moment of anxiety and uncertainty, it’s natural to feel even more stress about the already stressful tenure and promotion process. Since we can’t meet in person, we’ve organized this post to include some advice and tools that we would have shared with your in person at our Professional Development Workshop. You’ll see these tips and tools hyperlinked throughout this post.
First, it is important that you start planning for your tenure and promotion. We created deck of slides you can use to plan your success year by year. For instance, your third and fourth year are important moments to show benchmarks in publishing. Have you published peer-reviewed articles or significant creative work? Have you identified a list of ideal publishers for your book? Let’s be clear: there will always be bumps in the road; Matt Brim shared his Response to Fourth Year Review that didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. The moment helped him get clear about what he needed to do to succeed, and he did just that (Matt just got promoted to full professor and his third book was recently published by Duke UP). Remember, this is a marathon. Do not let a setback derail you.
Your sixth year is another important milestone year. By the end of it, you should have the bulk of your dossier ready to go out for national review. Its a scary process, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Your department chair and or colleagues who have recently been through the process can share all kinds of insights.
In our experiences, we learned the most from colleagues who were willing to share their candidate statements. FFPP Mentor Katherine Chen shared an Annotated Tenure Statement that shows the logic she used to draft hers. Statements like these provide a narrative of your career–they tell who you are, what you value as a scholar and as a teacher, and they provide the language that sets the tone for a review committee’s discussion of you and your accomplishments. In your narratives, please be sure to describe not just the labor of your work (e.g., archival research, interviews, translations, or grant funding), but also the impact (e.g., citations on Google Scholar, downloads on Academic Works, reviews, or invited lectures). Think of your work not just in the present–what about your past work? What about future projects? Where are they in the pipeline of what will be a long and active career post-tenure and promotion?
Regardless of where you are in your career, its always a good idea to be mindful of the stories you tell about your professional self. Are you always complaining? Do you share your good news? The stories you tell accumulate in your institution’s memory. Bethany Albertson’s Operation Keep My Job offers excellent insight on this point. “4 Steps to a Strong Tenure File” and Publishing as Strategy by Karen Kelsky also offer insight into how you can organize for the long view of a successful academic career.
Finally, always remember the hard part is behind you. You got the job–a tenure track job in a highly competitive market! Now is the time to get over that imposter syndrome and trust yourself. When you feel unsure, ask for help. Your College’s Provost’s Office, or its Office of Academic Affairs, has a schedule for tenure and promotion that you should access well before you need it. It will help you organize. And besides your department chair and your colleagues on your home campus, you have your FFPP Mentor and Fellows–our working groups are always confidential. The PSC CUNY Union will help you understand your rights, and if necessary, it will assist you if you need to file a grievance.
Please dig into our Commons site for even more resources. For instance, we posted on CUNY’s new Guidance Memo that allows tenure track faculty the option to delay tenure and promotion review. You’ll also find a trove of publishing resources. Please let us know if you need something and you can’t find it here in our Commons Community.
Wishing you health, safety, and peace in this chaos. May you have tremendous success in your career.
xo, Shelly, Matt, and all the FFPP Mentors
CUNY’s Office of Research is hosting a Zoom webinar on book publishing and you are invited!
This event will announce this year’s Book Completion Award Winners and the launch of a new web-based resource for scholarly publishing, and it will feature a panel discussion with university press editors for prospective authors.
Thursday, June 11, 2020 3:00pm – 4:30pm
You can register here: http://ybephbsyus.formstack.com/forms/bcaevent
Effie MacLachlan, Interim Assistant University Dean for Research, CUNY
Announcement of 2020 Book Completion Award Winners
June 11Tamera Schneider, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, CUNY
Panel Discussion: ASK UP – the University Press website for prospective authors
Fredric Nachbaur, Director, Fordham University Press
Gisela Fosado, Editorial Director, Duke University Press
Ilene Kalish, Executive Editor, Social Sciences, New York University Press Trevor Perri, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Northwestern University Press
Juno Morrow’s new memoir, Marginalia, is slated for release on June 23rd 2020 from CLASH Books. Marginalia was completed as part of the Faculty Fellowship Publication Program.
Constructed of words, artwork, photos and personal artifacts, Marginalia is an intimate and unconventional account of what it means to be a hybrid. It seamlessly interweaves experience with elements of sociology and psychology, exploring how one cultivates an identity containing multitudes — queer, trans, mixed-race, other.
Juno Morrow is a multidisciplinary artist, independent game designer, photographer and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. She is an Assistant Professor of Game Design and Unit Coordinator at the City University of New York’s Eugenio María de Hostos Community College. At Hostos, she has been developing the game design program, the first public degree program of its kind in New York City, since 2015. Prior to that, Morrow earned an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. As an internationally exhibiting artist and designer, Morrow has presented games and spoken at sites such as SXSW, GDC, MAGFest and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. With over 10 years of experience as an award-winning photographer, she’s had work featured in The Guardian, Dwell magazine and released 3 monographs of urban photography.
Her unusual games, often infused with dark humor, feature distinctive aesthetics and novel premises. Examples include Oral Perspectives, a VR game taking place inside the player’s mouth, and Mastering Tedium, an existentialist laundry simulator played inside a text terminal. Recent work includes Pruuds vs. Sloots, a “dumb versus game,” Blood Broker, a consent-based human sacrifice management simulator, and Marginalia, a memoir examining intersections of mixed-race and transgender identities.
The Office of Award Pre-Proposal Support (APPS) at the Research Foundation CUNY has been working hard to keep us connected to opportunities for funding in the Arts and Humanities as well as STEM fields. The resources below will help you begin planning to apply for future grants and fellowships. Please take a look!
A two-page Guide to Local Arts and Humanities Funders (look here for support beyond the usual suspects!)
APPS has filmed several of its workshops for future faculty development needs. We encourage the FFPP cohort to check out some of these prior talks to familiarize themselves with research development themes of interest. See the RF YouTube channel here.
COVID-19 funding advisories for both STEM/health faculty and arts and culture faculty. The STEM/health document is focused on urgent research projects, while the arts and culture document is focused on relief grants for those with loss of gig income and medical bills.
We thought you’d appreciate some advice about the revise and resubmit (r&r) processes that define our publishing careers. In this brief post, we’re sharing two bits of excellent advice on how you can successfully survive the double-sided challenges that go along with the dreaded/welcome r&r.
First, please read Cathy Davidson’s “How to Cope with the Dreaded–I mean, AMAZING–“Revise and Resubmit”” from HASTAC. Some of you may know that Cathy was scheduled as our Professional Development Day keynote speaker. Her advice is always on point, and we both think of her as a Mentor.
We also attached an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, How Your Journal Editor Works by Devoney Looser.
We know it helps to remember you’re not alone.
Shelly and Matt
At times like this it helps to have good information at hand, so we want to share several CUNY-wide resources. The “CUNY Continuity” page is a place to start:
From here you can access University-wide resources as well as each CUNY college’s “coronavirus page” for information specific to the individual campuses.
Because this week is likely an especially difficult one for the CUNY community and for New York City, we also want to mention that CUNY has resources focused on health and wellness, including counseling and mental health services, as well as child care and food security on our campuses. Links to campus counseling centers can be found here:
More general information about health services at CUNY are here:
At some CUNY colleges, individual departments have compiled resource lists. An example of a departmental resource list is the following from Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College:
Many campus webpages also point CUNY community members to health and wellness resources outside the CUNY system, including NYC Well Counseling Services:
As ever, and on behalf of our Mentors, we want you to know how thankful we are to have you as colleagues and how deeply we value your participation in the Faculty Fellowship Publication Program.
All our best,
Shelly and Matt
Former FFPP Fellow and Kingsborough Community College (KCC) faculty just earned an ACLS/Mellon Community College Faculty Fellowship Prize for her project, In the Footsteps of Emmet Till: And Intellectual and Experiential Engagement with Civil Right Movement Legacies. Her award will support a participatory research trip with six KCC to civil rights sites in Mississippi.
Debra began her work on this amazing project during her time in FFPP, and we are thrilled to celebrate this recognition of her scholarship as an inspiration for students to learn and to engage racial justice.
How are you doing? As we make our way through all of the challenges facing us in this moment, it remains so important that we all practice Self Care. We are doing all that we can to stay healthy and sane in this time of isolation. Have you tried a free dance class with the legendary Debbie Allen? Or the free 90 day trial from Peleton? Their an app offers short stretching exercises, yoga and cardio classes, guided meditation and more.
Of course also, we are doing what we can to remain productive. Some of you may be wondering and worrying about tenure. And since we won’t be meeting in person on April 3 to talk about your questions and your plans, we’ve curated some good advice for you from “The Professor is In” column at The Chronicle of Higher Education. Please follow these links for PDFs of “10 Things No One Ever Told Me About Applying for Tenure,” “Publishing as Strategy,” and “4 Steps to a Strong Tenure File.”
And, in case you haven’t heard, given the current circumstances, The University is offering the option to delay tenure for one year. This option is outlined in the Guidance Memo (March 24, 2020) from CUNY’s Vice Chancellor of Labor Relations. It states that it is “going to permit faculty whose candidacies for tenure are coming up in the fall 2020 semester to receive a one-year extension, if they so desire. Such faculty must request a tenure clock extension by emailing their request to their college Provost by May 1, 2020.”
“Going forward,” the Guidance Memo states that “faculty on the tenure track who subsequently want to request a tenure clock extension based on the circumstances of Spring 2020 must apply by February 1 in the year immediately preceding their tenure review…their request will be subject to a fact-specific review, in accordance with past University practice.”
This announcement might be a much needed reprieve for some.
Whatever the case, we look forward to seeing you all at our revised Professional Development Day on Friday, August 28. Please mark your calendars!
Take care, Shelly and Matt
We are truly heartened to hear that you have been relying on the structure provided by your writing groups and your Mentors to stay focused and find professional support in the face of adversity. The underlying strengths of the FFPP are becoming more vivid than ever: the capacity to connect, draw on professional resources, build layered support systems, and persevere together.
We have several timely informational items to share with you.
- The CUNY Research Foundation has just released the following for PIs and grant workers: https://www.rfcuny.org/RFWebsite/about/announcements/coronavirus-guidance/ and specifically https://www.rfcuny.org/RFWebsite/learning-resources/covid-19-guidance/faqs-for-rf-field-staff-and-principal-investigators/ This guidance will be updated periodically, so please check back at the RF site.
- The current moment only highlights something the FFPP has long focused on: the question of how faculty of color can achieve a good work-life balance in academe. Dwayne A. Mack, professor of history and Carter G. Woodson Chair of African American History at Berea College, offers his perspective here.
Finally, our STEM Mentor, William Carr, recently gave a talk about coronavirus (COVID-19). Thank you to William for sharing your expertise with us!
We look forward to communicating with you regularly–even as we want to respect the fact that we’ve all been a bit overwhelmed with email lately! The FFPP Commons will be, we hope, a valued site of connection, resource-sharing, and collegiality as we move ahead.
Very best wishes to all,
Matt and Shelly