Faculty Career Advice

Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra are co-authors on a series of Inside Higher Education advice columns aimed at faculty. They have covered topics such as making time for research, managing your time in the summer, coping with the tenure process and post-tenure life, and much more.

About the Authors

Jennifer Lundquist is Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst. A sociologist and demographer, her research examines how racial, ethnic and gender inequalities are perpetuated and sometimes undone in various institutions, such as the workplace, the dating/marriage market and in families.

Joya Misra is Professor of Sociology & Public Policy at UMass Amherst. Misra's research primarily is aimed at understanding how policies can create more equitable societies, with a particular emphasis on labor market inequalities. Much of her research compares different countries, and considers how to create meaningful support for both work and life. She has brought her expertise to examine faculty lives in research projects with a number of colleagues. She has also worked with administrators and the faculty union to create supportive policies and environments at UMass Amherst. She is currently involved in KerryAnn O'Meara's NSF-funded project on Faculty Workload and Rewards across three states.

Recent Articles

Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring
What sustains faculty members are relationships with others, write Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra, who outline how to identify mentors and how to be a better one yourself. (July 13, 2017)

Making the most of your sabbatical year
Recommendations for making the most of your year away from traditional campus duties. (May 11, 2017)

Balancing leadership and life
It’s possible to be an excellent administrative leader and still find time for leisure, health and social connections. (March 9, 2017)

Mid-Career Moves
For academics wondering how to best approach the job market further along in their career. (February 9, 2017)

How to slam-dunk a revision
Peer review can sting, but continued revision is the lifeblood of scholarship. (January 12, 2017)

Dealing with pauses in research productivity
How faculty members, especially women, can deal with parental leave and other gaps in their research. (December 15, 2016)

Letters of Assessment: advice on writing letters assessing other faculty for tenure and promotion 
A request to write letters evaluating other faculty for tenure and promotion means that other people think you are qualified to make this important assessment. It can also be terrifying. (July 14, 2016)

The Art of the Autoreply
Advice for those who choose to set an automated email reply message when unavailable at work over the summer.  (June 9, 2016)

Summertime Blues: How to get the most out of summer
Far too many faculty members end up feeling anxious that they've accomplished -- and relaxed -- much less than they had hoped over the summer months, write Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist, who offer tips on how to avoid that. (May 17, 2016)

Making Meetings Less Miserable
You didn't get a Ph.D. to sit in committee meetings, but they are a fact of life in academe. Lundquist and Misra provide tips for ensuring that yours are well worth having. (April 14, 2016)

The Sandwiched Midcareer Faculty Mentor: How midcareer faculty members can find time for mentoring
Mentoring is an issue at all career stages, yet the demands significantly expand for midcareer faculty members. (March 10, 2016)

The Treadmill of Email Production 
Effective strategies and solutions that will reduce unnecessary time spent on email and help you maintain your sanity. (February 12, 2016)

Making Time for Research: Tips to help midcareer faculty members find time for research projects
Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist talked with midcareer faculty members to identify the challenges they've confronted, as well as four key strategies to surmount those challenges. (January 15, 2016)

Making a Difference Through Public Engagement
Engaging larger publics and influencing policy through one's scholarship can be personally rewarding, but such work too often goes unrecognized in university systems of evaluation. (November 10, 2016)

Establishing Rapport in the Classroom
Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra provide suggestions for how faculty members can best connect with students in class. (October 18, 2016)

The Clogged Pipeline 
It's time to switch metaphors and focus on multiple work-life balance issues. (July 20, 2015)

Tenure Doesn't Mean Working Less: Gaining tenure requires new strategies for dealing with the workload 
But it can mean emphasizing the work you love to do. (November 6, 2015)

Finding Pleasure In Academe
How we can savor the good in our work in a number of ways. (August 11, 2016)

Diversity and the Ivory Ceiling: Essay on diversity issues and midcareer faculty members 
Midcareer minority faculty members face particular challenges. (June 26, 2015)

Midcareer Melancholy: Essay on frustrations of associate professors 
Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist consider job (dis)satisfaction among associate professors. (May 29, 2015)

Of Marriage and Short Term Flings: The university and its contract faculty 
Colleges and universities should renew their commitment to faculty members -- including contingent ones. (November 20, 2015)