>NOW it’s official

>I finally got my letter from the president saying that the Board of Trustees has approved my tenure and promotion to associate professor.

Woo-hoo! Let the feasting begin!*

Now I’m going to go change my e-mail signature line.

*Bullock and I are talking about a celebration party inspired by medieval feasting — with medieval recipes, but not sit-down. We haven’t decided about forks yet.

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>Blogging-related bleg for advice

>OK, so I’ve volunteered to teach my colleagues how to make their blog into something that people outside of RBU will want to read, but that also discusses what’s going on here. I also plan on showing them ways of getting it wider attention and readers. Obviously, nothing’s guaranteed, but I have some ideas.

On the writing front, they should talk about the specifics here but with the framework of the larger problems for higher education in general — especially public education. They won’t get readers and links — especially not from Inside Higher Ed — unless what they write speaks to a larger audience. And they should mix posts that speak to fellow academics and general audience readers.

On the marketing front, these are the ideas I have: register with technorati; read other blogs and comment on them; send an e-mail to the “Around the Web” editor at IHE when there’s a post they might be interested in; register with SiteMeter to see what traffic you are (or aren’t) getting; register with a local blog who collects Rust Belt blog links and categorizes them; create a blogroll (which may get the attention of those bloggers checking their links); and….um, what am I missing?

Does anyone have any other ideas?

It’s hard to grow a blog audience overnight, I know, but it’s worth a try getting some wider audience, I think. And also, once the trustees sign off on my tenure and it’s a done deal, I’ll link my colleagues’ blog here, so eventually they’ll have at least one link!

PS — I’ve told my colleagues that I have a blog, but I haven’t told them which one.

>Strange things are afoot at the Circle K*

>*Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

As Bill and Ted would say, things are most bogus and non-triumphant at Rust Belt U these days, my friends. There is chaos at the top and it’s pretty much unbloggable, especially since my tenure file still sits in the Provost’s office, now weeks overdue for a decision. I’m actually thinking of alternative careers because the atmosphere here is so demoralizing.

This is partly why you haven’t had a substantive post from me in awhile. The other reason is Pippi, who is utterly time-consuming in the most wonderful ways. I could write more, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want more “why my dog rocks” posts, unless it’s Friday dog blogging. But I will say that those alternative careers I’ve been thinking about include animal-related ones, though I had thoughts about such things long before Pippi. Once upon a time I wanted to be a zoologist, but I got frustrated with basic level science, even though I was good at it, because I wanted to move on to the Big Questions, but you don’t really get to do that at the undergrad level very much in the sciences. And I wouldn’t even get to the zoology part until graduate school. But now I’m day-dreaming about doing those basic science classes so I can get into Vet school. The one in our state has a joint DVM-PhD program, and I’m thinking about the areas I was once interested in in zoology — animal behavior, in particular — but now in more pragmatic terms of the behavior and well-being of domestic and/or zoo animals. The joint program would allow me to be a practitioner-researcher, and open faculty positions as an option, too. Imagine having options! Imagine having a range of possible careers! I could even teach a class on medieval bestiaries and animal fables to DVM students — and I’d bring Karl in as a guest lecturer! (Well, I suppose I could do that now, except we don’t have a Vet school at RBU.)

But that’s all a daydream at the moment. And really, do I want many more years of school on top of the ones I’ve already spent? Really? (Though if I did it, I might start a new blog called Doctor Doctor Doctor Virago. Hee!)

But back to our most bogus adventures at RBU…I’m trying to work out ways to talk about it, because I want to do so in response to Tenured Radical‘s call to replace tenure with unionization. The long and short of it is, at our university at the moment, if we had only 5-year contracts and a union, instead of having a tenure system *and* a union, we’d be totally screwed. Well, those of us not in the applied sciences and professional schools would, anyway, and I’d already be working on my pre-vet pre-reqs because I probably wouldn’t have a job for next year. Seriously.

(Btw, Pippi proofread this post. She tried to get in my lap, stared intently at the screen, and then got down.)