Open Access Tenure: Other Duties as Assigned & Paperwork

The last couple of weeks have been a different type of prep for me.  The College of Dentistry is undergoing their re-accreditation. We’re three years into a new curriculum, so we’re on the last year of the DDS program and have to address things for both.

While I was only somewhat involved with the document preparation for the self-study, providing some numbers and paragraphs on what I do with the college, I will be very involved when the committee is here next week. I’m sitting on three different panels, so I’ve been in preparation meetings and reading a giant folder of standards.

From the subject faculty I’ve talked to, my presence is not common. I fully expect to have someone ask me flat out next week “what are you doing here?” and I’m ready for that question. The flip side is, of course, why don’t they have a librarian this engaged at their dental colleges, why aren’t they having their librarian in the classroom, with office hours, writing assignments?  Re-accreditation is a great time for the committee members to see new things being tried at the school being evaluated and look, I’m new and shiny.

Yes, I know I’m bragging but our goal is to put our best feet forward and to show off the cool things that we’re doing that helps make for well-prepared and excellent future dentists.

It’s not unlike where I am in my current tenure review process [look at that, she said, a segue(1)].

Presently, for 3Y, I’m pretty much through my Evaluation of Librarianship (EoL). I’ve turned in drafts of my Statement [1 page, Arial Narrow, Size 11 font = 800 words] and my List of Accomplishments to the committee [bullet points, no limit, 3 pages].  I met with the EoL committee to review everything in those two documents and then they interviewed three people, including my Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from the College of Dentistry.  The EAD is one of the subject faculty that I teach with each fall and with whom I work closely.  As far as I know this is the first inclusion of a non-library faculty member for the review. Given the expansion of our liaison model, I hope it won’t be the last.

On top of that, one of my coworkers came to one of my classes with the D1s and evaluated my teaching. I’ve had the opportunity to read her write up of that, though it’s an internal document and not one I’m allowed to share with all of you. Honestly I enjoyed having her there. It was a good class with engaged students–which certainly didn’t hurt–but we all spend so much time running different directions that we often don’t get to see each other in action with students.  She pointed out a couple of things I hadn’t touched on and those were notes that I made for the next time I see my D1s. I have the luxury of seeing those students more than in a one-shot session. Many times we don’t.

I’ll get to see the EoL report before it goes up to the Promotion and Tenure Committee. I’m hoping for a pleasant read.

The EoL stuff was an exercise in showing off and that was difficult. To give yourself credit, which acknowledging partners both within and outside of the library, and not inadvertently taking credit for something someone else feels that they own and the fine line of politics, can be hard. And this is only internal, I’m not taking credit on the campus level as yet. I’d liken in a bit to cover letter writing, trying to include the most relevant stuff and making yourself look spectacular without lying or over-exaggerating your skills.

Next up for me is an edit/update of my statements. I’ve had a month to step away from them and now it’s time to make sure the jargon is out and the appropriate bragging is in.  Also I have to fill out the Forms. Yes, that’s capital F.

The forms are the same across campus but they’re updated every year, which means you have to wait until the last minute to start filling them out.  Ideally, I could have started these in April.  Campus, I’m told, is working on making things a) electronic and b) a little more stable to prevent a lot of copying and pasting from year to year.  Here’s a link to the forms if you’d like to see what I’m working on: http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/pt.html  I’m working from Tenure System Part IV.

So that’s the current state of affairs on my tenure review.  I’m also finally at the pen-to-paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, stage for 2! research projects, and we’re hoping to have manuscripts out the door before my paperwork goes up. My student employees are all  plowing through some final backlog data entry and things are rolling. Now if I can find a few more hours to write…

(1) Not a Segway, which appear with clusters of helmeted tourists zooming down the city sidewalks. I am not convinced those are safe.