service

Rae Nishi nishir at ohsu.edu
Wed Oct 1 19:31:23 EST 1997


In article <60ufp0$ifr$1 at dismay.ucs.indiana.edu>
ddudle at indiana.edu (Dana Ann Dudle) writes:

> I am interested in starting a thread about the third (and poorly defined) 
> aspect of an academic's career:  service.  I know that the phrase 
> "teaching, research, and service" is very common, especially in tenure 
> talks and/or job interview introductions, but I don't have a clear idea of 
> what kind of service this phrase refers to.  If it refers mainly to 
> committee work within the department and university, as well as on 
> national panels (NSF grant review boards, etc.), I want to raise the 
> question: "Is this kind of service enough?"
> 
> Does anyone else think that academic scientists (particularly in the 
> relatively affluent environment of the  US, but elsewhere as well) have a 
> responsibility to communicate with the community at large about science 
> and technology, or to share with and/or donate resources to universities 
> and schools where students don't have access to books and journals?  
> Lately I have been thinking that we do.  Of course, adding more 
> responsibility to lives that are already taxed to the limit seems a bit 
> overwhelming...
> 
> I ask this group to describe the service that departments sort of 
> "require" to be a productive member of the community, and also to 
> describe what some poeple they know do above and beyond these base-level 
> service activities.
> 
> Thanks-- I hope this sparks some interesting discussion!
> 
> Dana Dudle

I'm presently on the Promotion and Tenure Committee in the School of
Medicine.  You're right, the definition of service is vague.  One thing
I should point out is that it usually means service to the University
or dept., meaning anything that furthers the reputation of the
university or contributes to its operation and its goals.  Although
service to the community is highly laudable, it does not count towards
your "service" points when you come up for promotion unless it is
because you are providing the service in your capacity as a
representative of the university.  So if I donate money to my
daughter's school or donate time as "Midori's mom", that won't count
towards promotion.  Another thing that won't count is if I volunteer to
be president of the neighborhood association. On the other hand, if I
teach a class through the PTA to the parents on the importance of
vaccination (as a Professor of the School of Medicine), or if I were a
clinician and volunteered my time as a doc at the cardiac fitness
program of the YMCA, I might be able to be recognized for this (after
all, these actions would be enhancing the visibility of the University
in the public eye).

Rae

************************************
Rae Nishi, PhD
Professor
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 
nishir at ohsu.edu
**that's Orygun, NOT Ora-Gone**



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