Last year, when we were in PortCity before my first research cruise, Dr. Hand-Waver had lunch with an old friend from her post-doc days. She took me along. At some point the old friend inquired when Dr. HW was going up for promotion to full professor.
“Well,” she said, “our department chair thinks I haven’t graduated enough PhD students…”
“Well, I’ve only graduated one since moving to MyU, and he claims that none of my students from (her previous institution) count.”
They both turned and looked at me.
“So no pressure, right?” I joked.
“No rush,” she said. “I think if you pass your quals they’ll assume you’re going to graduate.” Suddenly, her intense push to get me to take my quals made sense. (She hasn’t rushed DannyBoy nearly as much this year.)
In any case, I did pass my quals. Also, we got a new (and much more laid-back) department chair. In other words, things have changed–and Dr. Hand-Waver has finally submitted her dossier for promotion, a process she calls “infinitely worse than going up for tenure.” Ouch.
So now it’s a waiting game: all we can do is stand here on the sidelines and cheer, “Go, Dr. Hand-Waver, Go!”