Well, the time has finally arrived. I am going up for tenure. Like now. My final dossier is due to my department promotion and tenure committee this week. My external letters are due back in the next couple of weeks. The semester is about to start. Am I freaking out? Actually, I'm not- and that's the strange thing. I don't mean that I am not worried about making it through the process, but I have a vague feeling of calm because I've already done everything that I can do. It's out of my hands. If I'm not good enough, it's too late to do anything about it now. I feel good about my prospects, though: I have had positive annual reviews. Any requests for additional publications have been met. My teaching is good (good enough, anyway, although I'll never win a teaching award). My service is good. And to top it all off, I just got that grant over the summer- which is totally beyond any requirements for tenure in my department (we have no requirements for external funding). So, that's it, then.
I had always thought that this semester would be stressful, and I guess that waiting to hear will be driving me crazy, but it's not like the rushing around trying to get one more paper published or get that grant proposal written. It will be a semester of waiting to hear if I've passed to the next level in the hierarchy. By Christmas, I will know my fate. If all goes well, I will be the second woman to earn tenure in my department. Ever. I will also no longer be fearful of pissing people off- although I've never let rule my life now (I hope that hasn't been a mistake!) I'll get to move out of the rank of "junior faculty". If I don't make it, I'll be back on the job market. I'm keeping my eyes peeled even now, in case there are Associate jobs that open up- just to keep my options open. I am not assuming anything or taking anything for granted.
So what do I do now? I have classes to plan for, two research projects to get underway. Grad students to recruit. If anything, this is where the pressure will be from. I have research responsibilities like I've never had before and I want to do a good job. I don't want to let people down.