Reflections of Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty

Sixty-six UNT faculty members will begin the next academic year with a promotion in rank, newly granted tenure, or both.  Read below to hear about what our talented scholars have to say about their career milestone.

Claudia Queen, Associate Professor of Dance and Theatre, feels lucky to be rewarded for doing something she loves. “My creative research Claudia Queenas a composer, musician and educator is in the field of music for dance. Nationally, there are only a handful of educators who have had the opportunity to attain tenure and promotion to associate professor in my field," says Queen. "Not only can music for dance provide peak artistic experiences for audiences and performers, it also has the ability to promote physical and emotional health and longevity. Thus, I am so very grateful to UNT and to the Department of Dance & Theatre for their continuing support of this important field and the arts in general.”  

For UNT Librarians, promotion to 'Librarian' is the highest rank one can achieve in their discipline.  Individuals must have a substantial and sustained record in scholarly, creative, and professional activities and demonstrate significant leadership to a department or division. Sian Brannon, who was recently promoted to Librarian validates the rigor of the promotion process.  "Promotions are not handed out willy-nilly; they are earned through determination and elbow grease. That dedication makes UNT look good. I am proud to join the highest rank of faculty/librarian and look forward to helping others achieve that goal as well.”  

Like most research universities, outstanding dossiers strengthen a candidate's likelihood for promotion and tenure.  Olga Velikanova, Associate Professor of History, credits her new book, Popular Perceptions of Soviet Politics in the 1920s: Disenchantment of the Dreamers, published in January 2013, with her earlier publications on popular interpretations of Soviet politics for her promotion and tenure.  Velikanova describes her new work as “the first study of popular opinions in post-revolutionary Russia which is based on recently declassified documentation of security police and Communist party surveillance on the population, extracts from private letters, diaries, British Foreign Office reports and talks leaked by secret police informants. "This volume argues that in the post-revolutionary decade the Bolsheviks failed to reach a national consensus and unite the nation around the aim of socialist construction.  “This work contributes to the current major historiographical debate on the origins and social roots of Stalinism,” says Velikanova.  

Masood RajaMasood Raja, Associate Professor in English, credits his tenure success to his work on issues of international significance and the receipt of a $1 million Department of State grant to build a partnership between UNT and National University of Modern Languages in Pakistan.  He says, "the partnership is now fully operational and will directly contribute to all of UNT goals and enhance our national and international reputation.”

Beyond tenure and promotion, what's next? Many faculty will launch a new research stream, others will write a book. For our teaching faculty, they may develop a new online course or focus on program development.  Diane DeSimone, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Technology says, "I believe my goals for the next chapter are to find ways to help grow the program in both the number of students in Engineering Technology and to increase the number of companies participating with the program."  Thanks to faculty like DeSimone, UNT is one step closer to reaching our Four Bold Goals. 

UNT's newly promoted faculty will be recognized this fall at the Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner and Ceremony which will be held at Apogee Stadium on September 27, 2013.   

Faculty Spotlight highlights UNT faculty members throughout the academic year. Each spotlight includes the research interests, scholarly accomplishments, student support activities and other academic achievements by the highlighted faculty member.