Dr. DeMentor (see previous post) and I have an additional point of disagreement. He thinks that my not taking the opportunity to 'change the culture' by pursuing an opportunity to become an assistant Dean means that I give up the right to complain ("at least not too bitterly") about the somewhat dismal situation for women science faculty at my university and beyond.
Even if I were capable of giving up complaining, I do not agree that I have lost this 'right'. Refusing to become an administrator now does not mean I have to be silent. To me, that's the same as saying that all my other contributions and efforts mean nothing, and I don't think that's true, even if I could be more effective (in some ways) as an administrator.
I suppose if my research led directly to a cure for a hideous disease or resulted in an invention that revolutionized how we make toast, my choosing to pursue my research would not seem so selfish as compared to driving positive change in academic culture.
I know that at some level DDM is right. I should say that he is just one of several colleagues whom I like and respect very much who think I am making a mistake in not pursuing this administrative 'opportunity'. They all give the same reasons. It is hard to go against the advice of such well-meaning friends, but in this case, at least for now, I am.
6 months ago