About the Author

Frank Deer

Frank Deer is an Assistant Professor and current Director of Indigenous Initiatives in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Frank holds an earned PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan and is published in the area of Indigenous Education. Frank has been awarded funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for his work in ancestral languages. He is the current President of the Canadian Association for the Study of Indigenous Education.

Books by this Author
Beyond the Academic Gateway

“Taken as a whole, the chapters in Beyond the Academic Gateway provide demonstrative evidence that the journey to tenure and earning of tenure is not a simple process. The chapters of this book show myriads of experiences, none of which say it is a ‘walk in the park.’ This is not to suggest that graduate schools are not preparing students with relevant skills—they are, yet in spite of years of preparation this collection says the experience remains arduous.”

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The Academic Gateway

Joining academia in a tenure-track role affects all aspects of one’s life. It is not clear, in advance, how it will develop for an individual, and information about the experience is scarce. Within the academy there are many different departments and areas of expertise where one can hold a tenure-track role. That diversity confounds the study of individual experiences. However, the process has characteristics that are shared by many who begin the journey. By narrowing the field to Education faculties, we have sampled people who typically have a background in teaching and service, most of which is well matched to the university environment. For many, only the research component is truly new, notwithstanding differences arising from engaging adult learners and changes in the way service is provided. In a sense, this is a best-case scenario, as it should have the least amount of role change. As we will see, this does not mean it is without challenges! This book will be informative for many because the experiences described are relevant beyond Education faculties.
The context for this book is the lived experiences of people pursuing tenured positions in Canadian faculties of Education. This context was selected because it provides common values and beliefs and a national understanding of the role of higher education. There are differences in the tenure process from one institution to the next, but in all cases, the chapters have been written before the authors knew what the outcome of the tenure process would be. In this respect, the authors share a degree of uncertainty about their future and are writing about a process in which they are immersed. 
As a process, progress towards a tenure decision should highlight increased clarity about the role. There are choices and interpretations along the way, but in general, it is believed that a person who has worked three years in a tenure-track role will be more informed than a person who has worked one year. This supposition led to the organization of sections and chapters within those sections, according to the duration that each individual has spent in academia. The writers in Section I have been in the tenure-track the longest. This section includes contributions from late tenure-track collaborators, as their collective effort may mitigate the fewer individual years in the tenure-track. The authors appearing in Section II and III are in the middle and early stages of the tenure-track. The book can be read in whatever order the reader finds interesting, but we hypothesize that the given order will benefit understanding the progression of the journey, a sort of view of the process that begins with the end in mind. If the supposition that duration affects clarity about the role is accurate, then, as one progresses through the volume’s sections, the level of uncertainty about the transition should generally increase as the amount of experience in the tenure-track decreases. However, as no writer of a chapter had tenure at the time of writing, the uncertainty is omnipresent.

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