resources for new assistant professors

A couple of months ago, I asked on Twitter if there were any resources for new assistant professors comparable to Jess Calarco’s A Field Guide to Grad School or Fabio Rojas’s Grad Skool Rulz. Folks there had a bunch of suggestions that I thought I would compile here for posterity. Note that I have not personally read all of the suggestions. And please feel free to suggest more resources in the comments!

Books

The Academic’s Handbook edited by (4th edition, 2020) by Lori A. Flores and Jocelyn H. Olcott. Revised and expanded from earlier editions, with chapters by many authors covering a range of topics.

Advice For New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus by Robert Boice (2000). Seems very on-point and thorough, but perhaps dated.

Behind the Academic Curtain by Frank F. Furstenberg (2013). Covers a wider array of topics, but includes very relevant-sounding chapters.

The Black Academic’s Guide to Winning Tenure–without Losing Your Soul by Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Tracey Laszloffy (2008). Focused on the experiences of Black faculty, but useful for anyone on the tenure track.

Candid Advice for New Faculty Members by Marybeth Gasman (2021). Very on point, and the most recent book on the list.

The Compleat Academic edited by John M. Darley, Mark P. Zanna, and Henry L. Roediger, III (2nd edition, 2004).

Tenure Hacks by Russell James (2014). Self-described as “brutally Machiavellian” and “irreverent.”

Blogs & Newsletters

MHAWS by Mirya Holman. “Burn shit down, get shit done.” A fantastic and hilarious advice newsletter including a focus on the communal aspects of academic success, aka finding your coven. See especially this summary advice post for new assistant professors that’s a great starting point for further reading.

Practical PhD by Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana. A really useful blog to follow with posts on topics like managing RAs and figuring out when an article is ready to submit. Much of the advice is useful for grad students as well.

The Professor Is In by Karen Kelsky. Commentary on academia, advice on the job market, and more. Kelsky also has a popular 2015 book of the same name which focuses on the job market.

Other Resources

A series of post by “Things I didn’t know before becoming a professor” from 2014 by Andrew Rosenberg, a CUNY faculty member who works on natural language processing.

A chapter on “Life as an Assistant Professor” in Tom’s Comments, an extensive e-book focused mostly on graduate school written by the late Thomas Carsey.

This thread of tenure advice for new faculty by Ezra Zuckerman Sivan based on his experience as a deputy dean at MIT Sloan’s school.

The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity has a lot of great resources including workshops and bootcamps. Some universities have institutional memberships. They also have a monthly newsletter.

Author: Dan Hirschman

I am a sociologist interested in the use of numbers in organizations, markets, and policy. For more info, see here.

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