The Staying Alive Project is an ongoing conversation about the difficult work of sustaining an emotionally, ethically, and spiritually healthy life in academia. We are interested in stories that explore the challenges, betrayals, resignations, and disillusionments of our professional lives. Our vision is to sustain a life practice guided by the virtues of centeredness, wholeness, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, imagination and collaboration—no matter what happens.
We have been inspired by the stories and experiences of friends and colleagues—their thoughtful reflections and commitment to exploring the complications of the academic world. We are interested in sharing these stories, broadening our conversation, by drawing on particular institutional perspectives; as well as the experiences of graduate students, temporary and tenure-track faculty, full professors, deans and provosts and presidents, and those who have retired from the profession.
How can we deepen our understanding of the narratives that structure our professional lives and that we use to make sense of our worlds? Last year, our friend Mike Branch contributed his thoughts on expectations for publication and the reward system in his post “Counting What Counts.” In the coming months, we will feature new voices, and visions, for a life practice to sustain ourselves, the institutions that support our work and the students who are rewarded with faculty whose lives are defined by the virtues we believe should remain at the center of our common enterprise. If you are interested in writing for the blog, we welcome your interest and look forward to hearing from you.