This autoethnography study reflects on the experiences of three assistant professors of different races of the tenure process at a large public research university. The study was framed by social cognitive career theory (SCCT), which is often used to describe career interest and career choice in a variety of professional domains, considering cognitive - personal, environmental, and experiential factors (Lent, 2005; Tang, Pan, & Newmeyer, 2008). Despite the commonality of the journey through the tenure process, everyone’s path looks different. Isolation, collegial relationships, and for some, unusually high service commitments and family responsibilities, whether because of gender or race, have provided a back drop for the lives of women in academe and have, in large part, defined their experiences on the tenure track. The results of the reflections of our experiences identify that environmental variables are important to the success of tenure seeking faculty.


Women Faculty, Tenure, Race, Ethnicity, Environmental Barriers, Career Advancement, Social Cognitive Career Theory

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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