Dating a Colleague When Tenure Is Hanging In the Balance

Science Professor (aka as Female Science Professor) over at Scientopia gave a reader some advice about whether or not it’s okay to date a senior colleague. Academia is a complex and many-layered animal with insane demands to make of any academic hoping for tenure. Dating an academic colleague with one’s the tenure vote still to come is a risky move, people. I’m with Female Science Professor on this one: my vote wouldn’t be altered by the colleague-dating situation, but it very well could be for others on the panel.

Does it suck hugely to have to walk away from possible love in order to attain one’s dream? Absolutely. But anyone who has already decided to pursue the nearly impossible tenure track has already announced loudly and with a barbaric yawp that they are more than willing to offer up their firstborn, their kidney, their hand, their mother, and several years of happiness to the tenure gods for even a smidgen of a sliver of a chance.

Humans are animals, and will do anything to survive and continue the species: food, sex (love), and survival, that’s all we need and are instinctively hell-bent of the pursuit of those goals. As far as I’ve seen, only tenure can veer an otherwise intelligent human animal away from food, sex and survival. (Wo)man up and realize how much you really want tenure, what you’re willing to give up for said dream, and walk the hell away from love until you’ve nailed down tenure.

Posted by Alexa Harrington

(Rockefeller University)

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