The tenure process at SMU
One of the reasons you probably need a longer tenure track at a new university is that we have fewer senior mentors for the younger faculty coming along. When I was at Cornell, there would have been a dozen of my colleagues up and down the corridors who were as grey then as I look now. I could easily turn up and you would get assistance. One of the things I found out about mentoring is that the individual mentee needs to have a choice. It’s much better to have twelve people out there who could possibly do it, but to focus on the two or three you would feel most comfortable with. If there is only one or two—well, the mentee has to take what is offered, I suppose. And even the best one in the world, some of the relationships won’t be as positive as they could be. So that’s one of the challenges of SMU and I think that’s one of the reasons that the tenure clock was extended.