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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Surviving Faculty Meetings

Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors lists Eight Types of Faculty Meeting Attendees.

I used to be a Talker when I started out, but I realized that no one cared what I said, and making the meeting drag on ticked people off. So now, I just sit in the back, keep quiet and read a journal article or two.

For new faculty, here are some simple rules for surviving faculty meetings without damaging yourself:
Rule #1:Thou shalt keep thy mouth shut until tenured.
Rule #2: If you have great comment to make, refer to rule #1.
Rule #3: Always bring something to work on unobtrusively in the back. Use the time to catch up on your journal reading. This will help you to follow rule #1.
Rule #4: Come early enough so that you can sit in the back (see Rule #3).
Rule#5: Do not take sides in contentious disputes. Just. Don't. If you take someone's side they won't remember it ten minutes later, and those on the other side may hold it against you.
Rule #6: If you want to be seen as a contributor and just can't live with yourself without speaking up, limit yourself to ONE comment per meeting, of no more than 15 seconds' length. So, choose carefully. Better yet, refer to rule #1.
HT: Steve Bainbridge.

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