Wednesday Oct 11, 2023

How to find success after tenure with Dr. Vicki Baker

Dr. Vicki Baker’s passion is helping others advance in their careers. She uses her deep curiosity of organizations and an interdisciplinary approach to ask big questions about our skills, talents, and interpersonal dynamics. When prompted about, "How do you feel like an expert? How do you know when “you’ve made it”, she shares that there's a challenge, especially for women and POC, in sharing your confidence in your knowledge and abilities, and communicating that confidence in a way that’s "socially acceptable." Dr. Baker lights up when talking about students, faculty, and stories. 

Other highlights include:

  • Expertise in mid career: Questioning “What’s next” since the milestone has been met.
  • Not interested in research for the sake of research – wanting to impact the day to day existence and lives
  • I’ve learned ____. How do I use it? How do I improve communities and lives?
  • In midcareer, often, you’ve met your milestones and still have career runway left. Keep asking: What’s my value add? My impact? How do I benefit others?
  • White woman, full professor is a privileged position, not acknowledging that can be “quite frankly, dangerous”
  • Focus on contribution: What do you want it to be? And if that seems too big, start with: Where do you find the most joy?
  • Admin well intention but ill equipped, bring in multiple perspectives—academy wide resources needed
  • Influential without being an “influencer”
  • Tenured and promoted but still need guiding light
  • Volunteer for service positions that lead to overall contribution, can’t be upset if people in positions of power don’t know what you’re trying to “value add”
  • The best part of the job is daily interactions with undergraduate students and personal stories with faculty across the academy
  • Your life is precious and you are precious, grant dollars are not precious
  • Can’t add hours but be more thoughtful with the hours you do have
  • Content and grounded in identities that matter to you, where those identities are safe on visible display
  • Space, community, connection is where higher ed is at its best
  • Weekly projects; boundaries for no work on weekends; walk away= sacred rest and scholarly work of sabbatical
  • Sustainable programming for mid-career faculty support

Inside Higher Ed article, Leading with Yes:

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