I had my third-year review in the spring of 2013, and it was rough. I wasn’t publishing enough and my future at the University of Texas at Austin was uncertain. As my very nice, very supportive chair sat across from me to explain the situation, he mentioned that our colleagues were afraid he would sugarcoat it. That was when I knew I was in real trouble. Of course, I knew the threat of tenure denial was real already — some of my favorite people have been denied tenure. And I could read my CV as clearly as anyone. But, as he talked about his worries, I knew that it was really real. I felt it in my bones. And I panicked.
That’s political scientist Bethany Albertson writing an essay called Operation Keep My Job. She did. How is important. Honest, thoughtful, and useful reading for young scholars.