Davidson Microaggressions Project

Tenured & (Now) Visible

When I got tenure, I received many congratulatory emails from senior white colleagues. I have seen some of these people repeatedly in various faculty settings over the past 6 years to tenure, and have navigated those spaces largely invisible to that “club,” apparently. The tenure emails were odd because they were clearly a rite of visibility passage. These people know who I am. They’ve seen me around. But I didn’t become a legitimate colleague until I got tenure. Noticing this personally reminded me of when a fellow junior colleague told me that a white man colleague at a faculty social event told her he would learn her name once she got tenure. I guess we are now visible and legitimate to them! Which makes me sad to know how they surely continue to think about the untenured and visiting junior faculty.