03 February 2016

Setting an agenda

Despite the title, committee chairs don’t have all that much power, particularly in academia. The whole point of having committees is that committees vote, and responsibility is diffused.

Committee chairs do have one actual power: to set an agenda.

I’m only a few days into my term as chair of the Student and Post-doc affairs committee at SICB, but I just want it to be known publicly that preventing sexual harassment of students and trainees has jumped to the top of the agenda.

This went to the top this morning when I opened my Twitter feed and saw, over and over, people discussing this article in the New York Times about an individual who harassed students at multiple institutions. This comes on the heels of other examples in recent months. This blog post could easily turn into a litany of harassment, so let’s just say this: there’s too much of that crap going on.

I don’t know whether harassment has been a topic of conversation for the committee before, but I look forward to finding out. If it hasn’t, it’ll be new. If it has, I plan to keep it front and center.

And I’m blogging this because I want to be accountable. I want people to know that this is what I want to try to do, so they can see if I succeed or not.

Related posts

Okay, SICB students and post-docs, I’m your guy

External links

Chicago professor resigns amid sexual misconduct investigation
Here’s how Geoff Marcy’s sexual harassment went on for decades
Work in progress: changing academic culture
You are worthy.

Photo by A Syn on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license

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