This “Don’t Fly Solo” board has been up in the hallway of our building since before I was hired. I took a picture of it back in December 2017, when I was here on a job interview. It was one of the most prominent signs (no pun intended) that this would be a friendly and fun unit to work in, which was one of the biggest considerations on my mind when I decided to accept the job (though the adventure of changing disciplines and the convenience of living closer to family shouldn’t be discounted). I think of all of this just about every time I pass the sign.
This is my fifth year in this job, and my tenure dossier is currently out for review. In a brief hallway conversation this morning, the director of the School of Information Science told me that my external review letters are coming and that they’re looking positive. With that on my mind, when I passed the Star Wars bulletin board this morning, what stood out to me is that the board as it currently exists is more or less identical to how it was when I was here for the job talk. A few titles have been crossed out to replace them with “Dr.”, but other than that, all the new faculty from the past five years are absent, and a few faculty members who have moved to other institutions are still on the board.
This isn’t a complaint—during the worst parts of COVID, there weren’t many people around to see it, and even now, our faculty and staff have more pressing things to do than to update this board. It’s just that I—a Star Wars nerd through and through—spent way too much time since joining the School of Information Science wondering if there was a reason for assigning certain people to certain characters and who I would want to be if I were ever added to the board. Now that I’m coming up on a major milestone of my career and my time here, if or when tenure approval comes through, I kind of want to celebrate by taking my place on the board. This is a friendly and fun unit to work in, and I’m excited by the prospect of spending the rest of my career here—surely spending a couple of years on the Star Wars board is an appropriate way to show that.
(As a final note, just in case any humorless administrators are reading this post: What I really want for tenure is the promotion, pay raise, and job security, even if I have to give up on my hopes of making it onto the Star Wars board).
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