Thursday, July 7, 2011

Congrats to Those Being Awarded Promotions and Tenure

This summer, besides doing research, preparing a new course, working with my students, and speaking at conferences, among other professional activities, I have been busy evaluating packets for promotions, and also for tenure. This is a very important task and when I get a request from an outside university or college to evaluate a record of an academic, I devote a substantial amount of time to reading and rereading the publications, assessing the teaching and research statements provided, as well as the supplementary materials, etc.

Sometimes the reviews are anonymous in that the candidate being evaluated has no idea that I am writing a letter of evaluation whereas other times I have been approached by a candidate and asked whether I would be willing to write a letter of support.

Today, I received lots of wonderful news -- a female professor from a southern university that I had written a letter for sent me a thank you for my letter -- she got promoted to Full Professor.

Also, today, UMass Amherst announced its promotions to Associate Professor (from Assistant Professor) and the awarding of tenure (which means your job is secure, which is very important for academics so that they can speak openly and pursue knowledge without restrictions).

In the announcement of 31 faculty awarded tenure were 3 who had spoken, in different semesters, in our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speakers Series. They are: my departmental colleague, Dr. Mila Sherman, of the Finance side, Dr. Kevin Fu of Computer Science (CS), who is the UMass rep to the I3P consortium, with me as the alternate, Dr. Daiheng Ni of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who is one of my transportation colleagues (I hold a courtesy appt. in that department). Also, on the list is another colleague of mine from CS with whom I had co-authored a grant -- Dr. Gerome Miklau.

Congratulations to these and to all the faculty on the list! This is a terrific group of faculty.

In honor of these faculty members, and, as a token of congratulations, I have included the above celebratory fireworks photo in this blogpost. Besides, the fireworks are in the spirit of the July 4th holiday season.