This is another in an ongoing series of profiles of faculty members who have recently achieved tenure. These profiles are intended to provide illustrations of how some faculty reach that goal.
It’s been six years, but Lindsey Williams’ memory hasn’t gotten fuzzy. He still remembers the first assignment he received from then-Conservatory of Music and Dance Dean Randy Pembrook.
Pembrook asked Williams to create a five-year plan. The plan would map out how, exactly, Williams planned to earn tenure. It was a daunting and seemingly premature task, but Williams did it. He outlined his plans and ran them by his colleagues.
“I was looking ahead to May 2011 before I’d even taught a class,” Williams said. “I think that was incredibly helpful.”
Looking back, Williams calls that first assignment “a gift.” It was a reminder that preparing a tenure portfolio is a lengthy, strategic process. So, Williams actively prepared.
He took on roles with the local New Horizons Band and the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Beijing. He published articles in The Journal of Research in Music Education and the International Journal for Music Education. He became a founding co-editor for the Music Journal of Southeast Asia and serves on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Music Education and the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education. He established himself as an active performer, conductor and clinician for music educators and young musicians.
In April, he received a Fulbright Scholar award for Research/Lecturing in music education at Mahidol University, in Bangkok, Thailand. While applying for high-profile fellowships was part of his plan, landing a Fulbright, while not something one can expect, certainly helped Williams’ prospects.
A few years ago, when he had the opportunity to participate in a mid-tenure review, Williams jumped at the chance.
“There’s enough stress involved with creating this portfolio. Why not take the opportunity for a dress rehearsal when it’s given to you?” Williams reasoned.
This past fall, all that planning and preparation paid off. Williams was awarded tenure.
The process taught him a thing or two – wisdom he’s happy to pass on to other tenure hopefuls.
“Have an idea of what you want to do and work hard and consistently to reach that goal. You can’t cram for tenure. You have to prepare along the way,” Williams said.