Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To Administrate: The Poll

Most of the comments on yesterday's post about whether someone should take on a temporary and challenging administrative position advised that the person in question not take the position, if offered.

There weren't a huge number of comments, however, and I am wondering what the results of a poll would show -- the same tilt towards don't do it, or a hint (or more) of go for it.

Based on the information provided in yesterday's post: Should this person pursue the opportunity (if so, vote yes) or run screaming from it (if so, vote no)?

Yes, I know that some of you would like to vote it depends; e.g., it depends on whether the individual is offered a million dollar increase in base salary to do this job for 6 months in a corner office with a great view, a deluxe espresso machine, and a highly competent administrative assistant. Etc.

Even so, just based on the information provided, you can probably decide whether you are leaning towards a yes or no vote.

Should this person take the administrative position?
pollcode.com free polls


Clarissa said...

The reason why I haven't been able to vote is that I don't have the most vital bit of information: is the person in question suited for a leadership position?

One can be a fantastic teacher, an amazing researcher, and a really bad administrator. Just like you need to have certain set of characteristics to be a great teacher and an amazing researcher, you need to be born to be a good leader of people or an administrator. There is absolutely no guarantee that these roles will translate into something else.

I know of a truly amazing researcher who turned out to be a horrible administrator and destroyed his own department in a matter of years. I also know of a brilliant educator and researcher who became a fantastic administrator and inspired many of her colleagues.

There is just no way of gauging these things unless you are the person in question being offered this job.

I don't even know what the answer would be if it concerned myself, let alone other people.

But this is why I like this blog: it asks difficult questions that make one think. :-)

Anonymous said...

This poll can show how many of the readers would take the admin. job, but is basically useless in helping the original reader in deciding [although some of the suggestions for what to negotiate for are useful]. The original poster needsto look within themselves to see if they want to take the admin job or not. Would they enjoy the challenge, and the day-to-day dealings? One way I have found useful in making decisions is to make the most "sensible" decision, write the email/letter and not send it for a day. I then watch my own reaction to the decision. That tells me what I really want!

Doc said...

I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday, but my vote (as recorded by your poll) is No.

I've seen people move into administrative roles, especially those with unclear timelines, before retirement, or occasionally sabbatical...but not while trying to maintain or return to an active research program. It is no doubt going to harm the program as well as the students who work for this person.

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote because you didn't provide me with an option that addressed me by name, using my preferred nickname, in my favorite font, and you did not tell us whether the individual in question likes cats or not. Poll fail.

Anonymous said...

Obviously all the people who have gone into administration no longer have time to read blogs. Or perhaps they delegate it to their overworked and resentful staff....

Phillip Helbig said...

I know this is off-topic but maybe I’ll get a response here. I would really like a separate RSS feed for comments. Many of my favourite blogs have them. Especially on a blog with many comments like this one, one needs some method of following new comments which is better than looking at (in theory) all old posts.

If I just can’t find it, someone point me to it. If there isn’t one, why not?

Also, what about a link to the previous and next posts at the top and/or bottom (but before the comments) of each post?

John Vidale said...

Run screaming the other way. We're in science because that's what we're good at (not managing).

The one time I took up an offer to lead a unit "temporarily", it took 4 years and moving 1000 km away to escape.

At least negotiate sufficient renumeration, help, and new committed resources for the unit to give a reasonable chance of success.

But preferably decline in no uncertain terms.

Anonymous said...

It's clear why the people who voted no have voted no, but I am not sure why some/most/all/any of the people who voted yes voted that way. Can anyone explain their yes vote?