The Board of Trustees voted to give tenure to five professors at their meeting last weekend. Ericka Albaugh of the government and legal studies department, Jack Bateman and Bill Jackman of the biology department, Steve Meardon of the economics department and Carrie Scanga of the visual art department were all promoted to the position of associate professor.
Bowdoin professors who are eligible for tenure teach in a tenure-track position as opposed to a temporary, visiting professor position. Typically, professors are recommended for tenure in the fall of their sixth year at Bowdoin.

The College describes tenure in the Faculty Handbook as “a safeguard to academic freedom.” Tenure provides professors with more leeway in their research and more choice about what and how to teach.

“I’m going to do a little bit of different teaching than I was doing before,” said Meardon. “I can probably afford to try to start up courses, for instance, that might have seemed a little bit riskier for me before tenure. So I can do some experiments both in research and pedagogy.” 

The Faculty Handbook also describes the College’s expectations for tenure candidates.

“Candidates for tenure will be expected to have excelled in their teaching and to have achieved a level of professional distinction recognized by members of their guild outside the College,” it states.

Each of this years appointees has a unique approach to the advancement of their scholarship. Professor Albaugh published her book on language politics in Africa, “State Building and Multilingual Education in Africa,” last year. Professor Jackman recently received a grant for his research on embryonic development in fish as a model for human development. Professor Meardon has done a great deal of research on changes in free trade due to trade policies. 
All of the professors agreed that the tenure process encourages a great deal of growth both as scholars and as educators. 

“At Bowdoin, you’re expected to be an excellent scholar and an excellent teacher,” said Albaugh. “You also are expected to serve the College in several different capacities, so there’s lots of different tracks that you have to manage at once. So it’s been a lot of work. It’s also been really enjoyable. I’ve learned a lot about teaching.” 

“The process is hard, too, because there’s a lot at stake,” said Meardon. “There’s a job that you love—and you want to be able to keep it—a place that you love to be at, and the experience of the students that you value.” 

The consensus among the newly promoted professors is that they are excited to begin their work after achieving tenure— continuing current projects along with starting new ones.
“You’re never quite done as a scholar,” said Albaugh. “That’s why we all got into this business—because we like to keep learning.”

Additionally, the Board of Trustees announced the appointment of three new professors to the faculty. Kana Takamatsu, who just received her Ph.D. in chemisty from the California Institute of Technology, Theo Greene, a current doctoral candidate at Northwestern, and Ken Kirsch, a Talman Scholar at Boston College, will all join Bowdoin next fall.

The College, however, is still in the middle of other searches for new professors, according to Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd. Professors of Japanese history and French are still being sought for the upcoming fall.