The Duck of Minerva

Some Personal Reflections on Social Media and Tenure

15 February 2014

Editor’s note: this post first appeared on my personal blog.

As some of you may know, I’m up for tenure this year, and it’s not going to work out. I don’t want to get into the details of anything that ought not be discussed in public, but I thought I’d share some quick thoughts that some of you might find to be of interest.

First, to the best of my understanding, my presence on social media played little to no role in this decision. So if there’s still fear out there that blogging comes at a price, please don’t point to my case as an example. I don’t know exactly why this happened, and probably never will, but there’s no indication that blogging is to blame.

Second, I want to take this opportunity to note that the internet is a pretty magical thing. If this were 1994 rather than 2014, the hours immediately following the bad news would have been filled with some really dark thoughts. Instead, I felt pretty overwhelmed by all the support there was out there, which I’d never have known about if not for Facebook and Twitter. I’m sure some would say that it was unprofessional of me to say anything at all about a case that’s not yet even fully resolved, but I’m honestly not sure where my mind would have gone that night otherwise, so I feel no need to apologize. What I do feel the need to do is reiterate my gratitude to all those who reached out. You have no idea how much that meant to me.