Edited By sj Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez
Chapter Fifteen: Slam Dunk on Tenure? Not So Fast …
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Slam Dunk on Tenure? Not So Fast …
CATHERINE A. LUGG
In the fall of 1996, I started my research career as an assistant professor of education at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. At first, I was not an out queer professionally, though I had been out for about five years in my personal life. I was delighted to be at Rutgers since, at that time, New Jersey was one of the few states with strong civil rights protections for queer people. As a politics of education scholar and historian, I wanted part of my research agenda to track the politics of queer civil rights as they relate to public education. Once I arrived at Rutgers, I asked a supportive colleague and ally what he thought of this idea, and he was strongly enthusiastic. And so I quickly embraced an avowedly queer research agenda and got on with the business of shaping an academic career.
This reflective chapter maps out my experiences at Rutgers University as an untenured assistant professor of education working in the areas of educational administration and policy. My defining moment came when I was denied tenure in spring 2002. This denial was almost entirely based on one external letter of evaluation, which was later ruled to be strongly homophobic. In this chapter, I discuss the strategies that I and my colleagues used to overturn this decision. I close this...
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