Please, Tenure Gods of My Institution, please find it within Yourselves to grant me tenure by looking to your own established criteria, which I’ve already demonstrably surpassed.

Please do it by faculty vote so that we can introduce dramatic subjectivity into a process outlined by a clearly codified list of measurable requirements.

Please do it by blind faculty vote so that personal agendas, crushes, and vendettas can be mapped onto my hard-earned professional existence and affect me for the rest of my life.

Please let the entire tenure-application process be a highly, yet nonsensically, orchestrated pageant whose ending appears almost wholly assured yet is for some reason defined by nail-biting suspense, sleepless nights, and constant ass-kissing, and please let it take an entire year to complete.

Please let my tenure bid be as much work as possible for everyone involved, because academics experience a perpetual dearth of paperwork and bureaucracy.

Please let that amount of work equate to approximately five hundred times more in labor hours than it will translate to in my potential tenured salary.

Please let it require long and lengthy meetings because whenever two or more of us are gathered in Your name we get particularly nutty.

Please let Robert’s Rules of Order govern the meetings, because it’s hilarious to watch academics try to employ them, and everyone needs a little comedy to endure this.

Please let my tenure file require multiple letters from multiple scholars at other institutions so that I can be complicit in exploiting others as I am exploited myself. What better way to substantiate my uncompensated labor than to require additional layers of uncompensated labor from those in the higher strata of academia whose uncompensated labor could be employed to praise my uncompensated labor?

Please grant me the self-delusion to pretend that tenure means a single goddamn in the current climate of higher ed.

Please force me to bite my tongue when my tenure review turns to matters of collegiality and professional conduct.

Please render me completely unconscious should I be tempted to call out the outrageously gendered nature of those two criteria. In my unconsciousness, please help me to smile.

Should I be blessed enough to receive it, please explain to my extended family what it means to be tenured.

If my aunt questions whether my tenured salary will justify my student loans, please strike her dead on the spot.

Hear this prayer, O Tenure Gods of My University, and in the spirit of Teaching, Scholarship, Service, and in Your many-credentialed names, I pray.