(Reposted from 9/9/15)
Jesse Stommel is leaving a tenure-track job at Wisconsin to go take a job as a faculty development director at the University of Mary Washingon. He wrote a powerful blog post about the descision, which you should read.
I want to highlight just one point, out of the many, skipping the issue of the Wisconsin GOP attack on higher education (which is the main story): Jesse writes [his emphasis].
My work — the work I was hired to do — has not been supported. While I was initially assured that digital work for broad public audiences would count, I was later told I should wait to do that work until after tenure and focus on traditionally peer-reviewed publications for academic audiences. In January, the following bolded words were sent to me in a letter for my official file: “The Committee wants to send a clear message that what matters is tenure, what matters for tenure is peer review, and work posted on the web is not considered peer‐reviewed.”
Jesse is an emerging leader in digital humanities, pedagogy, alternate forms of publication, and more. This kind of work is what makes him a nationally-known voice in higher education. It increases, well, increased, UW Madison’s reputation. It matters.
That his department/committee couldn’t figure out a way to count that work is an indictment of their inflexibility.