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Life on the Tenure Track

Paperback
, 208 pages
ISBN:
9780801881039
April 2005
$23.00

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Life on the Tenure Track

Lessons from the First Year

In this fast-paced and lively account, Jim Lang asks—and mostly answers—the questions that confront every new faculty member as well as those who dream of becoming new faculty members: Will my students like me? Will my teaching schedule allow me time to do research and write? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life in this profession? Is anyone awake in the backrow?

Lang narrates the story of his first year on the tenure track with wit and wisdom, detailing his moments of confusion, frustration, and even elation—in the classroom, at his writing desk, during his office hours, in departmental meetings—as well as his insights into the lives and working conditions of faculty in higher education today. Engaging and accessible, Life on the Tenure Track will delight and enlighten faculty, graduate students, and administrators alike.

James M. Lang is an assistant professor at Assumption College.

"A beautifully written book, part memoir, part meditation, part user's manual—all the parts held together by the personality and reflections of the author who is by turns exuberant, anxious, triumphant, rueful, and always immensely appealing. Anyone who has ever taught will find waiting on the pages of this book the shock, and pleasure, of recognition."

"With humor and pathos, Jim Lang tells a powerful story of his first year as a college teacher, offering a wealth of insights that will help graduate students and new faculty—and maybe even not-so-new faculty—learn to survive and flourish as good teachers. I came away with a renewed appreciation of the very real challenges and opportunities we face as educators."

"Jim Lang's account of the ups and downs of his first year of college teaching make me wish I had taken notes during my own first contact with the other side of the desk. That year was longer ago than I care to mention, but I found it suddenly before me with a vividness that I can only attribute to Lang's evocative writing. "

"May become the 'bible' for graduate students and new faculty. Lang's descriptions and analysis sparkle with warmth, humor, goodwill, and honesty. I found myself rooting for him, and viewed him as a mentor, turning the page looking for his very thoughtful advice. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to graduate students, adjunct professors, tenure-track and tenured faculty, and administrators."

"Jim Lang is a great guide whose warm, honest, funny, and poignant book will give advice and comfort to all panicked souls standing in front of a class for the first time, or wondering whether to speak at department meetings with senior professors who seem to know everything."

"Lang is a wonderfully engaging writer... he's obviously deeply committed to the craft of teaching and the craft of writing."

"Faculty at all levels will recognize their own experiences somewhere in this short, perceptive, and ultimately entertaining account of academic life."

"Lang demonstrates that there are many largely universal survival struggles and self-doubts which are shared in common by most of us embarking on a new career in the academy."

"Offers a lively report on how it looks and feels to shoot the academic rapids today."

"I would not be surprised if [ Life on the Tenure Track] became one of the texts distributed by teaching and learning centers to new assistant professors at orientation workshops. It would serve them well."

"An interesting and accessible narrative."

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