Monday, April 07, 2008

Merit Review, Senior Edition

'Tis the season for annual reviews, even for tenured faculty. In my case, I turn in a list of my papers, grants, awards, service activities (department, college, university, professional, outreach), invited talks, and teaching information (classes taught, evaluations). Since I am on the department committee that evaluates these things, my report is dealt with primarily by the chair. The only feedback I get is what I can glean from the size of my merit raise, though I can request a chat with the chair if I have questions.

Looking my list over just now, I feel good about what I've accomplished this year. It was a good year for papers, grants, talks, teaching, and service, and I feel that I have the right balance between all the various components of the job.

When I look at my annual report, however, and in particular at the list of my professional and community activities, it feels like something is missing -- this blog. I don't want or need credit for it from my department, so that isn't the issue, but it feels like the list of my activities is incomplete without it. Perhaps I can add to the list something like:

(5) Anonymous online writer of random opinions and factoids about academia and cats, occasional focus on women-in-science issues and insane colleagues.

If I added that, perhaps I would find out if the department chair actually reads the list of activities on the last page of the reports.

15 comments:

PhysioProf said...

If you really want to know if the chair reads that shit, write:

anonymous ranting on the Internet about fellow departmental senior faculty, most of who are unproductive sexist asshole demented fucking wackaloon envious douchemonkeys who should all bow down and kiss my much-more-productive-and-accomplished ass and serve fucking lattes--with a little ground nutmeg, thanks--every fucking morning when I get to work

That ought to get his attention if he's reading.

Alethea said...

You might rather add an interesting, random occupation to that list that wouldn't entail your chair trying to out you online, nu?

drdrA said...

It would be kinda funny to add it, just to see if he noticed!

And, by the way, I think your blog is a service responsiblity of sorts- to the larger scientific community. Call it online mentoring?

Anonymous said...

In what respect does your blog contribute to any of the academic goals of your institution? Does it add to your own professional development? I'm having trouble seeing why it belongs on your list, any more than letters to one's mother or "dear diary" journal entries would.

Sara said...

FSP's blog has done me a great service by providing information about grad school and being a professor. I have been hesitant to go on to graduate school due to all of the horror stories I hear and read. Reading specifics, as well as FSP's opinions on why some people succeed and others don't, has given me a much better perspective.

PhysioProf said...

In what respect does your blog contribute to any of the academic goals of your institution? Does it add to your own professional development? I'm having trouble seeing why it belongs on your list, any more than letters to one's mother or "dear diary" journal entries would.

This blog provides important mentoring to other scientists, which is a key professional goal within academia.

If you think this blog is akin to "dear diary" or "dear mom" letters, then you have a serious fucking problem with reading comprehension. Good job attempting to belittle shit you fail to understand, though.

okham said...

Anonymous online writer of random opinions and factoids about academia and cats, occasional focus on women-in-science issues and insane colleagues.

Plus, the review and screening of obscene, dumb, arrogant and inconsequential comments. Let us not by any means discount this all-important part of this activity.
Even though the irony of your posting has once again proven too much for some of your frequent commentators, I am pretty sure that this could be listed on an NSF proposal as part of the (in)famous synergistic activities.

Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde said...

Nah, you should just have all of us send letters of reference (to an anonymous PO Box, natch). Think of your chair's face as he reads that, say, "DrugMonkey" testifies to your making science a better place by providing online mentoring, musings, and mutterings for a boatload of pseudonymous scientists....most of which aren't even remotely in your field.

PhysioProf's letter of rec should put you over the top for the merit raise. If only because your chair is quaking in fear that you can tell this individual where to find him at home.

Anonymous said...

at least your school seems to ahve meaningful merit reviews. Here., no matter what I do, I get the same score. They count papers, so the analytical crowd wins over, say, the crystallographers. Nobody cares about each field's differences.
And, there's no money for merit raises anyhow, so all this effort over literally $50 a month....

Academic said...

I've been extremely encouraged by the community of women-in-science bloggers. I'm glad so many women are blogging!

EuropeanFemaleScienceProfessor said...

He won't read it. I included a calligraphy I did many years ago in my 2006 review as it was published as an illustration in a Chinese schoolbook for teaching english. The title of the book was really "cute", and I put it in just the way it was.

No one said peep .... I mean, it had an ISBN and all, so it was *legit*!

EcoGeoFemme said...

This blog probably does more successful "outreach" than most noted outreach activities. And like others have said, I get a lot of mentorship here.

FWIW, I first learned about this blog from a formal network for women in my field.

smbelcas said...

In one department where I worked, it was traditional to include a silly item or a sillily-worded item in order to help the Dean not die from boredom while reading the yearly reports.

Anonymous said...

I recently co-hosted a discussion group on women in science on my campus and I included your blog on a bibliography of further reading materials (primarily books and articles) that we passed out to participants. It's a helpful, unique, and fascinating resource. Too bad you can't get credit for it.
-FemaleScienceLibrarian

Ms.PhD said...

This made me laugh. I love physioprof's comment. I've wondered, more than once, if it would help me get a job if I said I had a blog, even if I have no intention of ever letting on which blog is mine?

Keep up the good work, FSP. I can't give you merit points, but I would if I could.

FWIW, I too have seen your blog listed among more formal mentoring/women-in-science websites.

-just another adoring fan.