Introducing Full Professor SkySkull!

For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I thought I should share the news here: I received word from my department chair today that my promotion to Full Professor of Physics and Optical Science at UNCC was approved!

If you’re unfamiliar, there are typically 3 stages of promotion for faculty at U.S. universities.  One is hired as a tenure track Assistant Professor.  After about 5 years, one goes up for tenure and, if earned, becomes an Associate Professor with tenure.  Finally, after a comparable amount of time, if the faculty member has demonstrated that they have become a prominent member of their field and an essential member of the department, college, and university, they can earn promotion to Full Professor.  It is the highest rank a faculty member can earn, and I’ve done it!

You may ask, what does a “Full Professor” do with themselves?  Well, I’m of course new to the field, but this is my impression, in gif form, of how it goes.

What my parents think I do.

What my parents think I do.


What my friends think I do.

What my wife thinks I do.

What my wife thinks I do.

What my students think I do.

What my students think I do.

What I think I do.

What I think I do.

What I actually do.

What I actually do.

I hope that clears things up!

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10 Responses to Introducing Full Professor SkySkull!

  1. Congratulations! I know how hard this is (still trying to make it) so you should go out and celebrate big time!

  2. sciencegrrljones says:

    Well done, you!

  3. mikemonaco says:


  4. diehlrgs says:

    And the gif for what what you think your colleagues think you do is…

  5. Andrew Metha says:

    Congratulations Prof Greg! Great to see that Charlotte recognises what a gem they have.

  6. yoron says:

    pleased to read you my friend.
    I think you can do it.

  7. Barbara Piper says:

    Congratulations on your change of job title, but surely you realize that these impressions of what you do doesn’t change simply because you can now drop the “associate” in front of “professor.” The false consciousness of academic life is that there is something special about the shift from associate professor to professor — we even try to capture that specialness with the qualifier “full” when that is not, in fact, part of the formal job title: you’re just “Professor” now — but imagine for a moment that pursuit of this fairly ordinary carrot, the major benefit of which is usually just a small salary increase, has driven you to be productive, largely to the benefit of your university, without much practical difference to you. We call it a “promotion,” but real promotions create significant changes in one’s work relations: tenure represents a real promotion, since it fundamentally alters those work relations, rights and privileges, obligations, etc. Associate Professor to Professor? Not at all. I’ve been a “full” professor for 25 years, and I’ve never found a single benefit beyond the egotistical self-regard it produces, not a single change from my status as a tenured associate prof. Same teaching/research/service obligations, same BS from administrators, grants don’t get easier, publications don’t get easier. If anything, life is worse, since I get tapped to serve on more university-level committees, which many administrations, including mine, think should be populated with “full” profs since we have nothing to gain or lose at this point… I’ve said since the day I got tenure many years ago that we should all just be “Professor” without any further differentiation…. Sorry if I sound cranky! I don’t mean to rain on your parade, really: if you’re happy, that’s what counts! Barbara

  8. Taos says:

    Congrats! Totally deserve it.

  9. Alice M Zent says:

    That is wonderful. Congrats!

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