summertime committee

I've had to put the file sorting on hold for a couple of days -- GF had Monday off, and we declared it a holiday, since we'd both been working over the usual weekend and hadn't really seen much of each other. We've been really enjoying this summer, making an effort to take days off together. We don't have the money or scheduling flexibility for travel, but we enjoy these one-day vacations, especially when they're on a weekday, or semi-spontaneous.

And then I've been busy on campus because I'm on a job search committee for an upper-level administrator position. The committee was formed during the regular semester, but for various reasons the actual work has wound up being during the summer. Which is sort of irritating, but also kind of good, since it gets it out of the way before the fall term starts. Administrators (and there are several on the committee) don't have the same mentality about protecting their summer time that faculty do.

I'm on this committee as the diversity member (because I'm female and in the humanities), not because of any particular expertise. The first few meetings were mind-numbingly dull and not particularly enjoyable. But as we've been accomplishing the tasks charged to the committee, I've grown to like some of the people I've been working with, and I think it's mutual. Getting to know faculty in other units and administrators from across the campus is why I say yes to university-level service (plus, when certain people high up in Administration ask you to do something, you really don't say no unless you have a McArthur grant or a Pulitzer prize). The danger, of course, is that now a few more people have learned that I'm reasonably sane (as well as tenured and female) -- I've already been asked to participate in two new initiatives from the Dean's office. (One I said no to, the other I'm considering.)

I don't mind serving on committees when it actually accomplishes something. I don't mind helping out with projects that seem beneficial to the department or college. Service can be a drain on faculty time and energy, but without faculty participation in decision making, the campus would be entirely run by the suits, which is never a good thing.