Thursday, December 22, 2011


What's wrong with you people (fellow faculty in my college)?! I tried to be nice and organize a social gathering, which went nowhere. Engineers are soooooooooo lame. I'm a dink who moved away from the region where I grew up. I know it's only supposed to be write grants/paper, eat, sleep and repeat, but common already. It's not healthy to drink alone.

Looking around the academic blogosphere, I see us new faculty repeating this sentiment constantly. Here is one example, among many:

Then, I came across this study.
It made me feel a whole lot better about my situation. Most of the gen X faculty out there are feeling incredibly isolated. It's not just the few of us who have turned to the internet for human interactions. It seems to be a growing trend. So I'm technically gen Y, but I think we are even more isolated because people don't think we're old enough to be faculty yet.

I'm contemplating organizing a TT faculty group in my town. We have a few schools in the area which would increase the pool of potential candidates/friends. Ideally, this would be a MeetUp at a bar where we could drink and commiserate. The problem with this humungous internet and all of this information is that it's now almost impossible to get a message out to people. Also, faculty with kids would probably want to meet at a different time and place.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reviewing Journals and Grants

Inside my little head, there are many benefits to reviewing journals and grants.

For new faculty, getting grants to review should be an obvious win.  Journals are a bit less awesome, but I enjoy seeing what caliber of work people are submitting to various journals. Also, some journals show the status of your reviewed papers, so I can see if the other reviewers/editors agreed with my assessment. I'm also a bit maniacal and enjoy the power that's bestowed upon me when reviewing.

But what about fringe benefits?

Does any Tenure and Promotion committee care about what journals I review or how many I do in a year? If I'm reviewing top field level journals on a regular basis, is that part of the magic equation?

Do the editors (usually esteemed tenured faculty) remember their reviewers? I ask this because I'm curious if, when the time comes, I can list them as potential letter writers? Will they be familiar with my research or remember that I wrote some great reviews for them?

Finally, and only tangentially related, are editors at these mega publishing firms in collusion? I always seem to get papers to review in waves and always at times when I think I can relax or dedicate some extra time to research.