Believe it or not I’m starting my 3rd year in SILS, so it’s time for my Third Year Review. It’s a bit strange that it happens at the beginning of year 3 & not at the end, or even in the middle, but that’s the way it is. For those of you not familiar with how this process goes, here’s how this process goes:

I have to put together a packet of materials including my CV, all of my publications, syllabi, teaching evaluations, & evidence of professional service, plus a personal statement about my research, teaching, & service. I submit these materials to the Personnel committee. Everyone on the faculty gets to take a look at these materials & they all write letters to the Personnel committee, critiquing me & my work. Then the Personnel committee reads all of those letters, synthesizes them, & writes their own letter to the Dean. Then the Dean decides if I get reappointed for another 3 years. Also at some point towards the end of the Fall semester I’ll meet with the Personnel committee & they’ll tell me what came up in all of the letters, & give me advice: if you want to get tenure here, we recommend that you do this, don’t do that, etc.

I’ve been working on that personal statement all summer. That basically was my summer; that damn thing took as much effort to write as a journal article. A useful exercise, but time-consuming. The unexamined life is not worth living.

So, I submitted my materials on Friday! It’s two full 3-inch binders, one containing my publications & one containing everything else. Actually much more stuff than I had anticipated. So that’s off my plate, hooray! For the moment, anyway. Now I just have to stress out about what my colleagues are writing about me.