Confused at a higher level

The view from Carleton College's physics department

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The importance of colleagues

Posted by Melissa on April 21, 2010

Tomorrow the junior faculty affairs committee is hosting a junior faculty discussion about collegiality. Collegiality is an often used word in academic circles that can carry many veiled meanings. Regardless of how one defines collegiality, departmental colleagues have a huge impact on the life of a junior faculty member. Interacting with senior colleagues can be fraught for junior faculty members because these colleagues play a significant evaluative role in the tenure process. Despite the asymmetry of the relationship, senior colleagues can also be invaluable in providing support, guidance, and critical feedback to junior colleagues. I appreciate that I’m in a department with supportive senior colleagues, individuals who care about students, about physics, about the departmental community, and about junior faculty.

As he just posted, Arjendu was appointed associate dean today. While it’s a fantastic professional opportunity for Arjendu and the college will benefit as he shares his talents and interests with the broader community, I’ll miss having him around the department on a daily basis. Over the past five years, Arjendu has been a wonderful colleague, giving me helpful suggestions or providing a sympathetic ear at some times, challenging my assumptions or pushing my thinking at others, knowing how to be both supportive and critical. It’s going to be different not having those informal chats at the coffee pot, but it’s also a reminder of how lucky I am to be in a department with great colleagues.

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One Response to “The importance of colleagues”

  1. arjendu said

    Oh, wow, thanks, Melissa! Believe me, I am going to miss you too. If you find me hiding in your lab some afternoon, you’ll know that administrivia has finally gotten to me. Thanks again.

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