Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why tenure-track? What happened after getting denial?


This figure shows the decreased percentage of tenure-track faculty over the past 40 years.

Source: AAUP’s “Higher Education at the Crossroads: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2015–2016”

I recently read some interesting news related to our discussion about tenure track and want to share it with you.

The first question is why tenure track?

There are several benefits for you to consider from a tenure-track position. First, the job security from a tenure position gives you peace in mind. It sets you free from a lot of pressure so you are able to think and to create. Thinking or getting new ideas marks the starting point in your research career.  Also, the tenure position provides freedom to pursue research areas that you are interested in. It is especially important when your research direction is totally new or controversial. Furthermore, with tenure-track, you can do the right thing without being afraid. You are free to speak your mind even it is in opposition to the administration system. That makes universities a special place where decisions are made by experts in that field.

For universities, without tenure track system, it is hard to compete with industry to get the top scientists.

The second question is recent changes in tenure-track process?

The process of getting tenure-track varies widely among universities. However, many universities are making it more transparent by proving clear guideline and more mentoring. By doing it, the final decision of getting or not getting the tenure position is not a surprise. The advice is making sure you ask for details about the tenure-track process before accepting the job.

In additions, among research, teaching, and service, research has always been the top priority. Previously, when the research task is fulfilled, other tasks do not matter much. However, the significance of teaching and service are increasing.

The third question, effects after getting tenure denial?

There are down moments in academic life when your paper is rejected or your grant application is failed. A tenure denial seems to be the biggest disappointed one. The first obvious outcome is disturbing research work of undergrads, grads, or post-docs. Typically, after being denied, young professors are given one terminal year to wraps up all the work. They also have to find a new job, which might come along with relocation. The situation gets worse if the whole family has to move. For young professors themselves, they have to overcome the stigma of failure in academia and prepare themselves to start over.

At the same time, getting tenure denial might open up a new and even more rewarding job. It is just a moment in your life, you have to keep moving forward.

Please find the following links for interesting articles related to tenure-track on Chemical and Engineering news:

  1. Walking the tenure tightrope:
  2. Moving on after tenure denial:

Mission statements of one public research university and one private university in Vietnam

Mission statements of various universities/colleges across the U.S have been mentioned in the blog, I am choosing two Vietnamese universities. The first one is the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU), which is one of two national universities as well as one of the two largest ones in Vietnam located in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The other one is Hong Bang International University (HBU), one of the leading private university in Vietnam located in Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam.

Based on Carnegie classification of universities and colleges, VNU is a research university with very high research activity; while HBU is a baccalaureate College with the diverse field. Mission statements of these two universities can be found at and Since VNU is one of two national universities, its mission focuses on training future leaders, including educators, educational leaders, educational managers, and of course researchers. Therefore, higher education plays an especially important role in VNU system. VNU also highlights the significance of collaborations and partnerships with other universities and institutions across the country as well as the world to meet regional and international educational standards. The focus of HBU is training its students the thinking ability and application skills that current Vietnamese job market requires. Interestingly, HBU emphasizes to prepare students with “a pure soul, good moral”.