A Sometimes Necessary Evil

May 24 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers]

One of the weirdest things that happens when you change positions is meeting with potential replacements. Today, a good friend of mine came to look at the position I am vacating. I loved seeing her, but talking about her working here after I leave just seems odd.

Anyway, in reviewing her CV, a number of us noted her service on the Dress Code Committee at her current employer. The major question: What did you do in a previous life that was so heinous you got assigned to this committee in this one? Turns out she vocally opposed a formal dress code, so they put her on the committee.

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These queries got me thinking about committees. The best advice I got for my start-up package was to get in writing an agreement that I would have no committee assignments for 3 years. Then, in year 2, I should find a significant meaningful committee and get on it. When year 3 rolled around, I would be able to beg out of Medical Records Committee (or even the Dress Code Committee). In my case, I ended up on the IACUC, a useful if busy assignment.

What is the worst committee at your institution? Or the weirdest one you have heard about? Extra points if you served on it!

2 responses so far

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    When I retired, I was able to talk a good bit with my replacement. He took notes, which I regarded as positive! He is not me, but has done good work that I approve of. Later couple of other new guys came in, both having their PhD's with friends of mine. On visits back to campus, I talked them into following up some work I had done back in the 60's. They have done so with vigor, NSF grants, etc., using techniques beyond my capability. When I mentored one of the new faculty, I got him on the Animal Care Committee. This was appropriate and got his feet wet with a committee of importance to him.

    • WhizBANG! says:

      You can never go wrong with IACUC or IRB. Lots of work, but you learn about all the research on your campus. And most folks will let you out of crap committees for these.

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