Everyone has heard the phrase “publish or perish,” but we started to become concerned with the idea that perceived expectations to achieve tenure and promotion and actual expectations to achieve tenure and promotion may not be the same. Moreover, as a field, we have very little information about an important aspect of our jobs. This research is also meant to uncloak and demystify (as much as possible) the process of reappointment, tenure, and promotion.

Our primary question is

  • what are the actual tenure expectations in technical and professional communication

To answer this question, we needed to see official university documents and then have follow-up conversations with faculty and administrators. Our research study design has two distinct phases

  • Phase 1 is the collection of documents: we are collecting reappointment, tenure and promotion documents from 25% of the schools in TechComm Programmatic Central and all schools that offer a PhD
    • Initial analysis of the document will help derive some of the questions for phase 2
  • Phase 2 will be interviews with relevant faculty and administrators

Phase 1 has been completed and we are compiling results (March, 2015) and Phase 2 interviews are ongoing.