is over-committing, then failing to do something I promised because I cannot do it all , feeling guilty (as well I should), and then falling deeper into a hole. Say no more often. I cannot repeat that enough to myself. But. I. still. do. it.
All that leads me to thinking about tenure. I read Dean Dad (too tired to link, sorry) argue that we don’t need tenure, but instead rolling long term contracts. Seems sensible. I do notice, however, that many academics stay motivated long after they are tenured. In fact, tenure seems irrelevant to many. But not all, and that’s the rub.
There are other, perhaps weak levers you can use, like bad teaching loads, lack of raises, not getting your voice heard, etc. Of course all those things isolate further someone who cannot be fired, and I guess worsen things. One answer might be to be even tougher for tenure, with ex-poste reviews with a bite. But that’s like rolling long term contracts with a higher entry hurdle.
I am also puzzled about the mismatch between the number of PhDs and where PhDs are needed. The market is saying that we have too many type XXX academics per job and so they are treated badly. Seems like the solution is to reduce the supply. But the supply is partly set by existing academics, who are entrenched. Is that the problem? On the other hand, how many people with PhD’s in fields with no jobs are surprised that there are no jobs. And if so, why? Overconfidence bias?