Trinity recently released the names of nineteen faculty members who have been awarded tenure or earned a promotion from associate professor to professor. These distinctions come after lengthy trials, piles of paperwork and serious deliberation by an executive board. These accomplishments are an important part of a professor’s career.

Tenure is a status bestowed upon professors by the university that allows them to extend their abilities and expand the capacity they have in research and classroom settings.

“Professors who have earned tenure have proved themselves valuable, integral members of the Trinity community. Tenure means that the university wants to keep a professor on the faculty and continue investing in her work as a teacher and scholar,” said Nicole Marafioti, associate professor of history and co-chair of the medieval and Renaissance studies program.

Having taught at Trinity since 2009, Marafioti knew the advantages of earning tenure, and began to pursue it right away.

“I’ve been working toward tenure since the day I arrived at Trinity! It’s an enormous honor to be granted tenure and promoted to associate professor,” Marafioti said. “I’ve dedicated myself to becoming the best teacher and scholar I can be, so I’m thrilled that my effort and hard work have been recognized with this promotion.”

Once earning tenure, however, work all but slows down. Since publishing two books in the last year, Marafioti continues to examine materials for her next publication.

“My research focuses on Anglo-Saxon English history, the period between 500 and 1066 CE. I’m looking forward to starting my next book. My work on Anglo-Saxon punishment has led to some fascinating questions about how medieval lawmakers addressed wrongdoing in their Christian kingdoms,” Marafioti said.

After earning this promotion, associate professors can then begin working on earning their next promotion to professor.

“The promotion to full professor is different than earning tenure. Promotion to full professor is more open in terms of timing; each department has a promotion and tenure document. Each department also determines different standards that spell out what kind of contributions have to happen,” said J. Charlene Davis, professor of marketing and chair of the business administration department.

Davis elaborates on the distinction between tenure and promotion to professor.

“The biggest difference between being an associate professor with tenure and a full professor is that, for many groups, expectations for scholarly productivity are higher, and expectations for taking on leadership roles as they relate to service and being part of the campus community are also greater,” Davis said.

As laborious and intense as these processes may sound, many professors view them as fulfilling experiences.

“The entire process of review is, to me, one of the strengths of academic life. It’s a self-evaluation. We are forced to do that, but that sounds negative when it’s just the structure we inhabit,” Davis said. “We have lots of opportunities to reflect and think, rather than just dealing with day-to-day business. It’s illuminating to go back and see some of the patterns that have emerged, whether it’s the first year I taught or the 18th,” Davis said.

As many university professors work to achieve these honors, they are able to adjust the manner in which they approach research or their lessons to the advantage of their students. Trinity University continues to grant these promotions to its professors, in hopes of improving the quality of the university for professors and students alike.

“My research focuses on Anglo-Saxon English history, the period between 500 and 1066 CE. I’m looking forward to starting my next book,” Marafioti said. “My work on Anglo-Saxon punishment has led to some fascinating questions about how medieval lawmakers addressed wrongdoing in their Christian kingdoms.”

After earning this promotion, associate professors can then begin working on earning their next promotion to professor.

J. Charlene Davis, professor of marketing and chair of the business administration department elaborates on the distinction between tenure and promotion to professor.

“The biggest difference between being an associate professor with tenure and a full professor is that, for many groups, expectations for scholarly productivity are higher, and expectations for taking on leadership roles as they relate to service and being part of the campus community are also greater,” Davis said.

As laborious and intense as these processes may sound, many professors view them as fulfilling experiences.

“The entire process of review is, to me, one of the strengths of academic life. It’s a self-evaluation.” Davis said. “We have lots of opportunities to reflect and think, rather than just dealing with day-to-day business. It’s illuminating to go back and see some of the patterns that have emerged, whether it’s the first year I taught or the 18th.”

As many university professors work to achieve these honors, they are able to adjust the manner in which they approach research or their lessons to the advantage of their students. Trinity University continues to grant these promotions to its professors, in hopes of improving the quality of the university for professors and students alike.