Tenure and Reflection

Recently, I had the privilege of celebrating the achievement of tenure at William Jessup University.  What an honor it was to reflect on the accomplishments and transformation that has occurred within myself.  This milestone was the most meaningful in my life thus far.

I am a list person.  Is there anyone else out there that enjoys writing a list and checking things off?  Most days, I do not complete everything on my list.  Particularly those items that take more than one to two hours.  At the end of the day, my reflection begins with thinking of those things.  Which can be detrimental to ones psyche.

Our Provost and President described tenure as a look into the future.  The Provost said, “Tenure is a statement of trust from the institution to the faculty member, and it is a sign that we want to build a culture around you.”  I really appreciated that statement and thought regarding tenure.

However, going through the tenure application and review allowed me to consider the past and tell a story of my journey as a faculty member at William Jessup University.  I have published a paper and understand the influence that tenure has on retention and satisfaction of faculty members.  However, I did not anticipate the satisfaction of related to reflecting on the big picture accomplishments of personal, professional and educational tasks that I had on my list at some point.

From this blog post, I would like you to leave with the appreciation of reflection and how it can bring a realization of how much we all do.  We all work hard in our respective professions and roles.  Ask your self:

How did I grow personally over the last five years?

How did I grow as a professional over the last five years?

How did I grow in my education over the last five years?

Are you accomplishing the goals that you would have hoped to?

What would you like to accomplish over the next five years?

I found that going through the tenure process was a milestone that allowed me to recognize growth in my self that I would have not done otherwise.

If you are a supervisor, your employees will find value in milestones if they are able to reflect appropriately.  Providing the appropriate review and reflection procedure can help to promote a similar experience where accountability can be viewed as valuable reflection.


Dr. Nathan Herzog



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