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CRA-W Promotion & Tenure. Dilma Da Silva, Chair Texas A&M Kathryn S McKinley, Microsoft Research. The next hour of your life. A bit about me 15 minutes on tenure A bit about Dilma 15 minutes on promotion in research labs 15 minutes partner exercise 10 Q & A.

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Cra w promotion tenure

CRA-W Promotion & Tenure

Dilma Da Silva, Chair Texas A&M

Kathryn S McKinley, Microsoft Research

The next hour of your life
The next hour of your life

A bit about me

15 minutes on tenure

A bit about Dilma

15 minutes on promotion in research labs

15 minutes partner exercise

10 Q&A

Kathryn mckinley principal researcher microsoft

Endowed Professor, UT Austin

Tenured at UMass

ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow

18 PhD students

Testified to Congress


Better systems

Programmable, correct, fast, secure, energy efficient

Kathryn McKinleyPrincipal Researcher, Microsoft

Uncertain<T> programming with estimates

Immix Garbage Collection

DaCapo Benchmarks

Cross system boundaries

Software for Heterogeneous Hardware


The academic ladder
The Academic “Ladder”

Postdoc 1-2 years

Assistant Professor ~6 years

Associate Professor


Chaired Professor Department Head

Associate Dean


. . .


Tenure criteria
Tenure Criteria




Quality and quantity is institution specific

Read tenure CV of successful faculty

Learn the influential faculty (chair, etc.)

Ask them for feedback every year

Tenure process
Tenure Process

  • Yearly department evaluations

  • Mid-tenure review

    • CV

    • Research, teaching, & service statements

    • Teaching evaluations

    • External letters

  • Tenure packet

    • CV

    • Research, teaching, & service statements

    • Teaching evaluations

    • External letters (typically 8-12)

Move the needle
Move the needle

Work on important problem(s)

create or borrow a theme: self managing home, private web,

accurate search, energy efficiency, programmable, etc.

Enough funding & students to do it

industry funding demonstrates near term important

test out students before committing

Collaborate when the solution requires technical skills you want

write at least one paper before applying for joint funding

Publish in top venues – qualityover quantity

Be “a goto person” in your theme – research leadership

publish, PCs, organize a workshop, tutorial, attend, questions, give talks

Research relationships research is a social process
Research RelationshipsResearch is a social process


build your own group culture

training great students

vs doing great work


multiply your research, learn new skills


develop relationships and improve your community

Teaching hard work rewarding
Teaching – hard work & rewarding

  • Enjoy it – immediate feedback

  • Teaching plan – what, when, how NEGOTIONATION

    • Match your expertise & needs to the department’s needs

  • Before tenure

    • Limit number of different courses, so you can teach well

    • No one cares how many times you taught course X, just that you did it well when you did teach it

    • Take available teaching release, e.g., maternity leave, new faculty, mini-sabbatical

Teaching hard work rewarding1
Teaching – hard work & rewarding

  • Execution for good student evaluations

    • Prepared for every class: topic, learn, extra, how it fits in

    • On time, end on time; course structure; stay on schedule

    • Quizzes, structuring of assignments, tests, drop deadline

    • Peer tutoring matching to help top & bottom of class

  • Teaching gives back

    • Technical material you want at your finger tips

    • Attracting, evaluating, and training graduate students

    • Inspire the next generation

  • But in R1 institutions, teaching alone wont get you tenure


  • Department & University

  • What matters to you, important to department, strategic

  • Build relationships with your colleagues, harder to fire you if they like you

  • Understand department values

  • Discipline

  • Before tenure, only do research enhancing service

  • Say YESto

  • program committees of top venues, your area specific venue,

  • NSF grant reviewing, research visioning activities

  • Say NO to treasurer, local arrangements, poster chair, etc.

  • Quality and reliability are more important

  • than quantity

Dilma da silva department chair texas a m

Dilma Da Silva Department Chair, Texas A&M

Find a partner what s the weakest part of your tenure case what should you about it

Partner Exercise

Find a partnerWhat’s the weakest part of your tenure case?What should you about it?

Cra w wants to change the face of computing

CRA-W wants to change the face of computing

What does cra w do i ndividual group research mentoring

Industry/government labs

Graduate Students


Academic careers

What does CRA-W do?Individual & Group Research Mentoring

Undergrads UndergraduateResearch Experiences

Undergrads Distinguished lecture role models

Grad Cohort group mentoring of graduate students

Grad Students Discipline Specific Research workshops

PhD Researchers group mentoring early & mid career @ CMW, CAPP, Grace Hopper & Tapia

600+ students & PhDs a year

Does it work
Does it work?


Compares program participants to non-participants

Thank you thanks to our sponsors

Thank you & thanks to our sponsors

Private Foundation

University Departments