Thinking about Service

With the growing demands for publication and the importance placed upon teaching, service is a difficult area for many junior faculty. Here are some suggestions for you to consider as you plan your service contributions during the next few years.

  • Your department should be your main service area, since your department holds the people who vote on your annual reviews and with whom you will be working the most. There are key interpersonal aspects to the tenure-track position, and the more your colleagues know you and know your work, the better off you will be when it comes to annual and contractual reviews. 
  • Serve on one departmental committee per year. Be active and contribute! It's not enough just to show up to scheduled meetings; you need to be able to demonstrate that you contributed to the work of the committee. 
  • Before tenure, try to serve on one college committee so that you meet other people outside of your department. It's good to get your name and face out there. Remember that your contract and tenure reviews go through your college's Academic Council, which is composed of representatives from all the departments in the college.
  • Pick projects that you are genuinely interested developing. Talk to other colleagues to find out what is going on around campus that you might want to join.
  • Last but not least, don't get carried away with service. Make sure you balance your teaching and research needs with your service obligations appropriately.