Missouri Southern has promoted seven professors and two were recommended for tenure March 18. Three associate professors moved to full professors, three assistant professors to associate, and one instructor to assistant professor.
They were promoted according to a higher standard that took effect in July 2015.
“Tenure is the holy grail of what academics hope to achieve,” Paula Carson, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said, “it allows you to spread your wings and look at more risky areas of scholarship.”
Academic promotion is different from a private company promotion system. It is does not have openings that need to be filled, but closer to a hierarchy based on individual output and time put in.
Starting on that career path means being hired on as an assistant professor for five years, then moving up to associate professor and then reaching full professor. The only way to move up is to be on the tenure track.
“I’m hoping to work on some more projects with my students,” Devon Estes, assistant professor of art and recent receiver of tenure, said, “preferably more with film, kinetic typography, and stop motion.”
The track is a seven year process which includes having the terminal degree in your field and working to provide in the core areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. The specifics for each department are being finalized at the end of the month for next year’s promotions.
Ranks also come with financial advancement. Moving from assistant to associate professor is a $6000 pay raise. Associate to full professor’s raise is $8000.
These sizable raises are justified because they are the only raises they receive. Instructors are separate from professors including a seperate board.
Instructors usually lack the highest degree on their field and have less academic expectations. This year, an instructor became a professor as he completed his doctorate.