How to: Become a tenured professor at Harvard


11 Responses to “How to: Become a tenured professor at Harvard”

  1. Hank says:

    During my time in grad school, the received wisdom was that if you didn’t hold some kind of degree from Harvard (Bachelor’s or better) then you had no chance of getting tenure there.

  2. WaylonWillie says:

    Right, a certain group of schools (Harvard, Yale) simply doesn’t grant tenure, with rare exceptions. You treat the job as a kind of launching pad to another, hopefully more happy, job (or so I am told from those who have done it). Other colleges grant tenure simply by checking your pulse; if you are alive, then you get it.

    • nicky187 says:

       Not in my experience. Could you let me know which institutions those are?

      “Other colleges grant tenure simply by checking your pulse; if you are alive, then you get it.”

  3. awjt says:

    Just another form of the Lesters.  Same shit, different stage.

  4. Actually, Harvard grants you a degree when you become a professor there.  So yes every professor has a Harvard degree.

  5. fireshadow says:

    No single factor is enough to earn tenure at Harvard, those involved in
    the tenure process say. Prize-winning work may not be enough. Excellent
    teaching almost certainly is not.

    The last part is kind of depressing.

    I had a professor in grad school who was absolutely terrible …. I later found out that even though he had tenure, this was his first time teaching a grad-level class.

    • Petzl says:

      But this is always the case.  “Good” colleges never hire professors for their instructing abilities. It’s for what they accomplish outside the classroom.

  6. mattolejack says:

    Or you can be academically more or less a faker, but be famous for saying things people want to hear. Then Harvard will give you tenure without much effort at all: Niall Ferguson, Daniel Goldhagen, Alan Dershowitz…

  7. Gnou says:

    Wow, interesting to learn that Harvard is the same as every other top tier college. Who would have thought?

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