Field of Science

Strange thing to do - justify your own replacement

My colleagues, a few of my colleagues at least, have noticed that TPPs retirement from academic servitude in a couple of years will leave a pretty large gap in organismal botany; it'd be gutted actually.  So with positions so hard to come by, replacements so long delayed, justifications must be put into the queue with considerable lead time.  Thus TPP finds himself writing a justification for his own position, and this is proving a very strange thing to do.  A justification needs to be strong, but then it begins to sound like arguing for your own significance, your own importance, your indispensability.  And this list of what you actually do do does begin to look like a considerable undertaking should it be suddenly handed to another person in toto, and someone needs to do it all, although it was indeed acquired gradually, or in fits and starts over the years.  Let's see, this position requires someone with a broad and encyclopedic knowledge of plants.  Check. This person should contribute to the scholarship of the school, perhaps with a distinguished publication record extending over years (37 years and counting).  This person should be an excellent teacher.  Well, duh, and maybe receive both the university's and the botanical society's highest honors and awards for teaching.  Check.  This person should play well with others.  Hmm, well, ...  OK, maybe that one can slide.  This person should be capable of making excellent, award-winning chili, and not some slop with beans and corn, or even worse, macaroni, in it.  Whoa!  Maybe this is starting to sound too much like the current occupant even leaving out the part about being a fashion icon in biology. 

No comments: