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On Showing Up

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3 Responses

  1. Howard Wasserman says:

    Several of us were having this conversation yesterday at lunch. On one hand, I am glad to see it is not a problem that is unique to us. On the other hand, one of my colleagues suggested doing something to make participation (along with having to present once a year) mandatory, tied to summer research money. A bit paternalistic, I know, but intriguing . . .

  2. Jacqueline Lipton says:

    I would also like to respond from the other side of the coin ie as the presenter making a presentation to a general audience. I’ve always found having the opportunity to go to other schools and present workshops to general faculty, as opposed to groups of colleagues in my own area, extremely illuminating for me. Often, issues are raised that I have missed because I just regard them as too obvious (“goes without saying” etc). So comments from a more generalist audience can really make you think about your own work from a more foundational perspective, as well as helping you to construct even specialty pieces that will likely make more sense to those second year law review editors who may not be specialized in a particular field (particularly if aiming for publication in a general rather than a specialty journal). So I encourage Mike and other research deans to encourage faculty to show up and help those in other areas of scholarship to make their work even better.

  3. Hammer says:

    I think attending research workshops is part of the job and should be required — as should attending job talks and faculty meetings. Not everyone has something to say at every event (but being there and staying mum has value too), and sometimes conflicts will arise, so the most that can be hoped would be a healthy attendance record during the academic year. This is no more paternalistic than requiring that professors show up in the classroom.

    The simplest mechanism would be to circulate to your faculty a comprehensive list of events during the previous year asking them to tick off the events they attended (while more benignly soliciting their views as to what would increase the odds they would attend future events). Then hound them until you get results. Some auto-shaming may result.

    Better yet would be to require that such a document be attached to any year-end report that is filed, so that at least a hint of salary repercussion is felt. Best would be to solicit that input and make explicit that it will be considered in relation to any raises.