Friday, August 03, 2007


I have been trying to convince myself that I didn't care if I got tenure this time around. In the State Department, tenure is basically the same as in academia. If you have it, it is really really hard to fire you. So its job security basically.

You get considered for tenure at the first tenure board that meets after your 3-year anniversary of service. That was March 4 for my class, and the next tenure board met in late May/early June. But it takes a while, usually a couple of months, for the results to come out.

And for most of that time, I haven't given it a second thought. But now that the tenure cable is due any time now, I can think of little else. In my head, I know that it is quite likely I won't get it the first time around. You have to get it within your first five years or they kick you out, but having what the boards want is like shooting at a moving target. So some of the best officers I have served with did not get tenure the first time around and it had nothing to do with them. Some boards don't give tenure to folks who had long-term language training, some only give it to those with long-term training. And some people just have the misfortune of having bosses who couldn't write their way out of a paper bag, much less do a good job on an EER. So it is a crap shoot.

But that said, I know if I don't get it the first time around, I am going to take it personally. I shouldn't. I know I shouldn't. But I will. And what will be even more depressing is that those who get tenure this time get to go up for promotion immediately. But the promotion board, unlike the tenure board, only meets once a year. Sigh.

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