Article co-authored by 2012 DPDF Mediated Futures: Globalization and Historical Territories Fellow Kyle Jones, Kacey Beddoesb, Dina Banerjeec, & Alice L. Pawleyd, featuring in Ethnography & Education, Vol. 9, No. 3 (2014):
This paper analyses the role that forms of documentation play in faculty members’ experiences of tenure and promotion. Taking an institutional ethnography approach, it examines inconsistencies and ambiguities in documents and connects them to the experiences of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty at one institution in the USA. The authors argue that the university documentation surrounding tenure and promotion does not capture the actual practices and experiences of faculty members as they prepare for their tenure or promotion and that the documentation creates a ‘flexibility bind’ of tenure and promotion. Faculty members’ strategies for navigating this bind are also examined. The implications of these findings for diversity among STEM faculty are also explored.