Dear Wondering Woman. I’m a new incoming tenure track professor in a department that is fairly new and has not yet set policies on how to achieve tenure. There is a tenure policy at the college level but it is left to the department on how to fill in the details. How should I approach the conversation with the chair so that I have a written commitment about what requirements I need to fulfill for tenure? I am especially concerned that I receive accurate information on which publication outlets count, especially concerning types of publications, numbers of publication, books versus articles, grants, etc. In other words, I need to know as clearly and precisely as possible what is required of me. What is the trade-off between teaching and service and publication? What is the role of professional activity? What counts for professional activity? How are the various aspects of research-service-teaching valued? Do joint articles/books count? Work done with members of my thesis committee?  In essence, what should a tenure plan contain and how can I get it in writing? Thanks for any advice here.

From Jessica Lavariega Monforti (Pace University). I suggest asking for a discussion to create a Letter of Expectations where the Department Chair and faculty negotiate and then agree upon the requirements for the third year review and ultimately tenure and promotion. The letter is then signed by both parties and included in review and tenure/promotion dossiers. In this conversation(s) you can ask the questions you outlined above. Using this tool, you can get a better sense of what the performance expectations are across research, teaching, and service in your department.