This is another in an ongoing series of profiles of faculty members who have recently achieved tenure and/or promotion. These profiles are intended to provide illustrations of how some faculty reach that goal.
Recently promoted Professor Joe Parisi understands hard work and processes – both contributed to his success as a conductor, director and full professor.
“My tenure process was very clear,” said Parisi. “At the time of my initial promotion to associate professor, I had good mentorship from my dean, Randy Pembroke, and faculty chair, Charles Robinson. Most helpful was a mid-term review during my third year.
“When this was completed, I felt as though I had all the information I needed to continue my trajectory to associate professor, which happened successfully in my seventh year at UMKC.”
Parisi joined the faculty at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2002, and at that time, he created and became the conductor of the Conservatory Wind Ensemble. The ensemble has performed at several regional and national events like the Missouri Music Educators Conference and the Collegiate Band Directors Conference and has commissioned pieces, made recordings and premiered new works by several composers including UMKC Professors Jim Mobberly. Paul Rudy, and Chen Yi
The ensemble has required a lot of time and dedication for the group to become successful. As has the role that Parisi assumed with the Fountain City Brass Band, which consists of UMKC Conservatory students, faculty and alumni.
Directed by Parisi, the Brass Band recently won the U.S. Open Brass Band Championship for the third year in a row. According to competition sponsor Brass Bands International, they have won more than half of the competitions in the history of this event.
Parisi’s committed leadership in both groups is just an example of his determination to complete the work required to become a full-time, tenured professor.
According to Parisi, the most challenging part of the process was gathering materials and determining what needed to be included in the portfolio for the review committee.
“It was difficult to figure out what needed to be included, particularly pre-electronic format. I collected materials consistently throughout the years and then would use my spring break to design the portfolio. Because I kept everything, it was easy to organize the materials in a logical format.”
When working on the next step to full professorship, Parisi took what was – in his opinion – the next logical step.
“I asked my colleagues who had been through this process for input and guidance,” said Parisi. “I also utilized the university’s resources and was especially appreciative of the help Beci Edmundson provided. She helped me utilize the resources available to me as a faculty member to organize my materials into the electronic portfolio.”
As someone who served on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, Parisi realized that many people struggle with the organizational aspect of the portfolio. As a review committee member, he offered a piece of advice to those going through the process: “You want a portfolio that is linear, organized and easy to navigate.”
When this multi-year process was complete, Parisi said there is a remarkable sense of relief and accomplishment.
“Once it sank in that I had been promoted to full professor, the most rewarding part was the sense of accomplishing academia’s highest professional rank as a professor.”