Pathways to Full Professor
Once tenure and promotion from assistant to associate professor occurs, midcareer faculty must serve time-in-rank (which may vary from institution to institution) before placing their credentials up for promotion to full professor. While promotion to associate often means an involuntary and mandatory career step, the decision to seek full professor is purely voluntary. Thus, many faculty never espouse nor seek the rank of full. Because scholarship plays a more signiﬁcant factor in the promotion process to full, especially at research institutions, the pipeline tends to narrow as tenured faculty choose between several career options. These include consulting, increasing service involvement on campus and professional service off campus, applying for administrative positions, and/or placing a greater emphasis on teaching and student advising. For faculty pursuing the rank of full, national and international recognition garnered from publishing, presenting, and journal editing must be demonstrated. Faculty must also seek support for their advancement to full rank from their colleagues on campus as well as have their dossier examined and assessed by external reviewers off campus. These full professors must be well known in the ﬁeld in which the candidate publishes and hold tenure at a comparable university classiﬁcation. Sounds simple but the vignettes below illustrate otherwise.