Good Trouble: Post-tenure Interruptions to Our Academic ‘Routines’


  • Nick Tobier University of Michigan



post-tenure reflection, civic engagement, faculty roles and rewards, art and design, institutional margins, reciprocity, social spaces


As a public artist and designer, I construct spaces that connect people and ideas. The social spaces I create challenge our traditional ways of thinking, knowing, and experiencing one another and our cities. This piece presents a resistance to preset disciplinary values and a recognition that exponential rather than incremental change in an urgently evolving filed demands knew form and language. Working at what might be described as the margins of a field within a discipline that is itself often at the margins of a University necessitates both deliberate articulation and responsibility to translate less orthodox practices, off-center inquiry, ways of knowing and outputs in the tenure and promotion process. This piece challenges us to see the civic work we do as good work, and when our good work serves as an interruption to the existing status quo of the academy, then this good work serves to bridge the academy to cities in more meaningful ways.

Author Biography

Nick Tobier, University of Michigan

Professor, Art and Design
School of Art and Design
University of Michigan
2000 Bonisteel Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069

Telephone: (734) 936-0697