Jo VanEvery, Academic Career Guide · Do you need to be excellent? I have written before about “doing your best” being a distraction and instead encouraged you to focus on doing good work. In this post, I want to extend that argument using a recently published scholarly article as a jumping off point. (You can […]Read More »
How things work in academic institutions, academic disciplines, and other spaces where you find yourself. The unwritten rules, assumptions, and ways of being that make the difference in everyday academic life.
This category has been somewhat neglected. Older posts in this category will be edited and possibly recategorized beginning in July 2015.
I find the use of “administration” and “administrators” in academic circles increasingly problematic. In particular, there is a lack of precision in the use of the term. The term “administration” seems to be applied to everything from clerical work to running the institution. It has become a catch-all category for any work done in the […]Read More »
Note: The information in this post is relevant to those evaluating the scholarship of others (for hiring, promotion, funding, etc) as well as to those having their scholarship evaluated. It also applies to other kinds of leave in which you would not reasonably be expected to keep publishing including longer sick leaves, disability leave, and […]Read More »
The primary purpose of academic publishing is to communicate with other scholars. This form of communication is rather formal. The bar for acceptance into the conversation is high. This conversation is asynchronous and takes place over very long time periods. What happens once you’ve published your article? By publishing your article in a scholarly journal […]Read More »
While helping a client with her application for promotion, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a senior colleague when I applied for a promotion many years ago. The promotion committee will be looking for a trajectory in your research. I checked the guidelines for promotion from my client’s institution. Sure enough I […]Read More »
Just like eating, sleeping, and exercise, the work required to build and maintain relationships and to work collectively with colleagues has to be a priority. Those relationships are the foundation that makes a lot of other things possible. You cannot leave it to whatever time remains. Nor is it helpful to enter every collective situation […]Read More »
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. (The Serenity Prayer —Reinhold Niebuhr) Whether you believe in that god or not, the sentiment of this prayer is just good advice. You can always just cut out the first […]Read More »
As an academic you are expected to do a lot of things, expectations that appear increasingly unreasonable. You may need to do more work than you think is reasonable but you do not need to collude in the erasure of the political agency of others. What happens if you stop using the passive voice when talking about those expectations?Read More »
I’m a knitter. Maybe you also knit, or crochet, or do other needlecrafts that are small and portable. I knit in meetings and in other public places. I knit in the pub while talking to friends. Can you really do that without looking? This is probably one of the major issues that is going to […]Read More »
As I was writing about how your office is organized, I realized that many of us are haunted by the Spectre of Professionalism. Luckily I have a cartoonist on speed-dial. This Spectre might haunt your office set-up, your writing style, your manner of dress, your interactions with students, your interactions with colleagues, your decisions about […]Read More »
There has been a lot of head shaking, confusion and anger in the wake of the recent Canadian federal budget. Academics value evidence, reason, and rational argument. The cuts just don’t make sense. What happens if we turn the question around? How do we make sense of what appear to be nonsensical policies? The Conservative […]Read More »
Most of the time when I sit down to write posts, I have a particular audience in mind. Most of my clients are tenured or tenure-track academics in the social sciences and humanities, or the equivalent. Sometimes I have specific individuals in mind when I write, even though I am writing about the issue because […]Read More »