Yesterday I finished writing another external review letter for a business librarian up for tenure. While reviewing the accomplishments of such a candidate, I usually experience one of these two emotional responses, or frequently both:
1. Hey, that’s a pretty good achievement, not quite the level of engagement I currently enjoy or the quantity I accomplish but still not bad good for you.
2. Wow what a great idea why haven’t I ever thought of that or tried that, am I slacking off??
So either mild condescension or a bit of awe.
More seriously, given the amount of documentation provided to the external reviewer, it is always very interesting to examine such a thorough overview of a librarian’s work. The reviewer gets to read the candidate’s philosophy, goals, accomplishments, usage and assessment data (sometimes), scholarly communication, and testimonials from students, faculty, and other librarians.
Bloggers like the Hedgehog Librarian are writing about their experiences (and sometimes their concerns, frustrations, and pain) writing and assembling these large tenure applications over the course of a year. The Promotion and Tenure Committees and external reviewers do look very carefully at all the documentation. (I spent most of Monday reviewing the materials.) So these big portfolios do matter.
Often when experiencing emotional response #2, I come away with a list of new ideas and things to try here at UNCG. That happened yesterday too.