The "Ten-Year Road:" Joys and Challenges on the Road to Tenure


  • Kathryn M. Hibbert The University of Western Ontario
  • Rosamund Stooke The University of Western Ontario
  • Katina Pollock The University of Western Ontario
  • Immaculate Namukasa The University of Western Ontario
  • Farahnaz Faez The University of Western Ontario
  • Julia O'Sullivan The University of Western Ontario



This paper explores the pre-tenure experiences of five assistant professors employed in the faculty of education of a research-intensive university. Acting as co-researchers, the authors researched their experiences through a critical narrative approach. The analysis, informed by critically-oriented writing that extends Wenger's Communities of Practice. takes as axiomatic the notion that globalized processes of economic restructuring are mediating work in the academy and examines its local manifestations. Discussions explore issues of power, equity, shifting identities, and the need for improved navigational resources. The authors found that the process of critically and collaboratively researching their pre-tenure experiences offered insight into sites of personal and professional agency and also served as the impetus to form the social semiotic spaces that encouraged a sense of community. The Dean, a tenured member, but also a newcomer, serves in the role of critical friend.