Thursday, May 8, 2008

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So Tuesday was a pretty good day....

Earlier this week I received official word that I've been promoted to full professor, after a remarkably transparent and stress-free process.

So how does it feel? Pretty damn good. After all, this happened just two and a half years years after the late unpleasantness. Despite that, it happened before I turned forty (I was genuinely surprised how pleased this last fact left me).

The real reason this is great news, however, are the benefits that come with being a full professor. The benefit of being promoted to associate professor* -- tenure -- is pretty friggin' obvious. What's the difference between associate and full?

Unless you're actually a full professor, you would never know. Now that these fools esteemed colleagues have let a full-blooded blogger into their priesthood, however (suck on that, Ivan Tribble!!), I shall fearlessly reveal the great benefits of this kind of promotion.

By some interesting quirk of fate, there are exactly ten benefits that emanate from the promotion to full professor.....


10) You get to pig out. More attractive professors tend to do better in student evaluations and other metrics to rate professors. This is not surprising -- after all, the attractive receive a similar dividend across professions.

There's no rank beyond full professor, however. So, that's it for me. My fight against my expanding waistline was rapidly turning into a quagmire anyway. From now on, it's not going to be an either/or choice with me -- I'm going to both Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks whenever I see one on the road!!

9) Cameo appearances in bad science fiction movies/television shows. You know those scenes where a protagonist must make some appeal to a futuristic "Council" of some kind? All those council people are full professors -- it's the closest most of them come to exercising actual power.

This perk used to be a well-kept secret, but Cornel West ruined it for everyone.

8) Free Awesome Blossoms at Chili's. This makes #10 that much easier to achieve.

7) Superdelegate status in the Democratic Party. Well, them or the Greens -- curiously, those appear to be the only possible choices.

I'm also holding out for $20 million for my endorsement, by the way.

6) Something better than that stupid f@#%ing pen ceremony. As this site observes, "The scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind in which mathematics professors ritualistically present pens to Nash was completely fabricated in Hollywood. No such custom exists."

In the actual ceremony, colleagues ritualistically present signed and notarized statements in which they confess that they were in error when they labeled your research as "putrid swill" back when you were a post-doc.

5) I can now pursue my hobbies with a vengeance. Some colleagues write about UFOs when they get promoted to full. Others write novels or musical careers. Me, I'm finally going to indulge my hobby of collecting refrigerator magnets with a resoluteness that would scare a Clinton.

4) When required to wear full academic regalia, full professors get to wear swords. Nobody better mess with me at commencement.

3) I'm now gently encouraged to -- on occasion -- publish in more widely read outlets. Apparently this will let me acquire "a public voice" or something.

2) Bobblehead night in my honor at next faculty meeting.

1) When the moon is full, I get to kill a student.

UPDATE: This list should have gone to 11, as Tyler Cowen points out. Also, apologies to everyone trying to post a comment -- they're still down. Now that I'm full, however, I promise to blow off important committee work and get cracking on fixing the problem.

*For the purposes of this post, we're just going to ignore the rather bizarre Ivy League system of being assiciate without tenure.

posted by Dan on 05.08.08 at 12:39 PM


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