When to go up to full (at my R1 university)

According to the when to go up for full workshop I attended several years back and according to the full professors I’ve talked to at various places there’s a checklist of things that basically boils down to:  Be twice as much of whatever you were at tenure.

Have twice as many quality-adjusted publications.  (I exceeded this 5 years ago)

Have twice as amazing service responsibilities by, for example, being on boards of journals and/or serving as an associate editor of a journal.  (Hit this 5+ years ago)

Be more well-known in the field, as evidenced by, for example, being on conference program committees, hosting conferences, etc. (So many years ago)

Take more of a leadership role in service by heading committees etc. instead of just serving on them.  University service, not just department service.  Etc. (Soooo many years ago)


When not to go up for full:  5 years after that (unless you’ve really put it off that long, in which case, going up right now is better than waiting even longer)

Yes, I checked all those boxes 5 years ago and for whatever reason just did not go up.  That’s 5 years and a bizarre new research path that has to be explained and a letter writer found for.  More PhD students whose outcomes have to be found (thankfully NSF makes you list them so I didn’t have to do as much digging as I otherwise might have).  More grants whose exact dollar amounts and own contributions and grant numbers have to be found and entered into forms.  And I have the same word limit that I would have had if I’d gone up 5 years ago.  I can barely fit the journal names into the space they give, much less coherently explain all of my different research agendas.

I delayed because I didn’t want more service responsibilities.  But I got them ANYWAY.  They just would have been different service responsibilities.  I delayed because I’d been promised a money chair available only to Associate professors, but there was a delay and it ended up being given to someone else instead.  And, since I would have been the *only* full professor without a money chair, it’s quite possible I could have gotten a different one if I’d been full.  I delayed because it’s easier to move as an associate instead of a full, but I’m stuck here until DC1 finishes high school now anyway, and now it’s embarrassing how long I’ve been associate.  None of these were good reasons.

If applicable, what are the rules for promotion at your institution?  Academic readers: Have you gone up for full?  When do you plan to go up?  When do people say to go up?


21 Responses to “When to go up to full (at my R1 university)”

  1. xykademiqz Says:

    My school treats it as a second tenure, basically, with external letters and the whole shebang. A person is automatically considered in year five post tenure (if unsuccessful, periodically thereafter), but they can ask to go earlier or later.

  2. mnitabach Says:

    Two other faculty in my department & I got promoted to tenure simultaneously. I think about three years later we each individually went to our chair & said Hey, promote me to full. That worked out & we all three got promoted to full simultaneously.

  3. CG Says:

    Oh, this is timely. I was considering going up for full this year (I got tenure in 2016) but decided to delay until next year, based on advice from my chair and one of our associate deans. The advice I was given was that we need about the same number of publications as we did for tenure, but they should be more impactful/in better journals. I have four post-tenure articles in my field’s flagship journal, which is pretty unusual, plus articles in several other good journals including one in our #2. But the total is not quite what I need. I think it will be there in about November this year, but that’s too late for the letter writers. We are also supposed to show evidence of a national reputation and I’m on two editorial boards. I’ve been doing more media interviews, too, although they’re largely regional, not national. Taking all that into consideration, they said I had a borderline case but next year it would be solid. So I will wait. Good luck to you! Sounds like a no-brainer, even if putting in the work to document everything is annoying.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, turns out if you wait forever it gets kind of embarrassing!

      Sounds like you will be a no-brainer next year! You might want to start gathering irritating things (like dissertation students or grant $$ or whatever your uni requires a spreadsheet of) now to spread it out.

  4. gwinne Says:

    My situation was pretty similar to yours…. I’ve been at rank 10 years and probably could have gone up about 3 years ago. I don’t think I would have wanted a situation where going up to full was on a forced timeline but encouragement to go up earlier would have been nice. My publications evolved more organically this way. Like yours, our process involves external review and all the same stuff from the original tenure process, and basically the same expectations for new publications + greater requirement for service (both professional and on campus). I am so glad to have submitted my own file and to be back to work not the description of my work…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I would like to have submitted my files, but … see interfolio problem. My department secretary emailed and said she’s getting training on it tomorrow and will hopefully be able to get me access then. My friend in another department had to submit her files last Friday but not through interfolio, though her department head is the one who alerted us to the need for interfolio. It’s all very confusing! (My tenure was so long ago that they’d just changed from having to print everything out to putting everything on a cd that they mailed!)

      • gwinne Says:

        I hear you! My dossier for tenure was mailed as hard copy, which was much easier to assemble for me. Now we use private google drive to submit….my understanding is that if reviewers want hard copies those are made by our admin assistant! Interfolio is interesting as an idea.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Google Drive seems very sensible!

        When I’ve reviewed other people’s tenure packets they’ve emailed me a zip file of pdfs. But there’s so much junk in my packet that it will be nice to be able to have some kind of file structure so that they can focus on, say, the research papers without running afoul of my list of PhD students. I guess I could number things if I had to so they would sort alphabetically.

      • mnitabach Says:

        Interfolio sucks ballz. How they managed a monopoly on this shittolio is beyond me…

  5. gwinne Says:

    Ah….my google folder was divided into categories set by my chair, and I had a lot of subcategories….I do hope that’s preserved when it goes out!!

  6. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    Yikes, this seems totally convoluted and like a real pain in the caboose. Does waiting “too long” have a more serious impact on potential outcome of your application to promote other than being embarrassing?

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