Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 11:39:13 -0400

Author: sampere

Subject: Re: position descriptions

Post:

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Well thanks!

Sam

Jason St. John wrote:

>I think Sammy put that very well and saved me the time of articulating all
>those thoughts. Well said, Sam.
>-jmsj
>____________________________________________________
>Jason St. John 617.353.2634 stjohn@bu.edu
>Boston University Physics Lecture Demonstrations
>Room 255, 590 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215
>
>On 2004-09-01.08:56 owner-tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu sent:
>
>Dear Andy,
>
>My official job description has little resemblence to my function here in the
>department. I suspect that's true for most of us demo/lab folks. I've been too
>lazy to revise it to reflect, at least in my opinion, what I do for the
>department. So let's work on your list a little bit below...
>
>A Gavrin wrote:
>
>
>
>>I have the sort of question that perhaps should be answered off list. At
>>IUPUI, we are considering creating a position that would have some mix of the
>>following responsibilities:
>>
>>1. Create/maintain demonstrations and help faculty with them.
>>
>>
>
>I would expect the demo person to not only create/maintain them, but also become
>experts at performing them. Note the word perform. Doing demos in class is an
>art form that must be practiced and practiced until you feel comfortable doing
>the performance. This is not unlike an athlete or a musician. I don't expect
>the faculty to know all the nuances, they don't have enough experience with this
>equipment.
>So instead of the demo person 'helping' faculty, I would expect to see the demo
>person instructing the faculty on how to properly do the demo. In addition, I
>would expect the demo person to advise the faculty on which demos to do and
>which not to do.
>Here's an example: last year, a theorist teaching 2nd semester into physics is
>doing a demo. His back is toward the students. He can be heard because he uses
>a wireless mic, so that's ok. But he's blocking the demo - the students cannot
>see what he's doing! Let's just say that we had a little chat. I get a little
>testy when all of my hard work is for naught.
>
>Of course, all this comes with experience, so what do want in a newbie. How
>about writing in the expectation that he/she will work towards those goals -
>that your institution is interested in not only building the department, but in
>building a career for that lucky individual? You can write in your description
>that the department will support travel to national meetings such as AAPT and
>encourages that individual to seek out other learning opportunities.
>
>
>>2. Create/maintain undergraduate labs
>>
>>
>
>See #1 above. The 'maintain' can be a drag and is the most unrewarding aspect
>of my job. And perhaps a newbie should be expected to do this for experience,
>but now I have more important and (more importantly) more interesting things to
>do with my time which in my opinion, provide greater benefits for the
>department. I hire work study students to do these sorts of repetitive tasks.
>Here's an example. I just had my work study student disassemble all of my Pasco
>carts, clean all the bearings and replace all the broken parts. Once I showed
>him how to do one, he did a great job with the rest. That was a day's work.
>
>
>
>>3. Maintain student machine shop and do some light machine work
>>
>>
>
>That's almost an impossibility for one of us. If I had to do it, I'd scream. I
>wander into our student machine shop and can never find anything - nothing gets
>put away. It's like going to the gym and trying to find the set of dumbbells on
>the rack where they belong. They're never there, they're usually on the floor
>at the furthest location from where you are standing! And that's assuming
>they're together. Lots of times each one of the set is in a different location.
>Dave doesn't have that problem though, because nobody can lift up the ones he's
>looking for!
>
>
>
>>4. Maintain 2 labs worth of computers (networked together but not connected to
>>campus).
>>
>>
>
>This is a reasonable expectation. If you have a decent group on campus that
>handes computers, work with these people to teach your guy. This will save lots
>of time and experimentation.
>
>
>
>>5. General dept troubleshooter
>>
>>
>
>Be careful on how much of this happens. This could severely limit growth on
>items 1 and 2. When I first started, I was fixing everyone's WIN 3.1 problems.
>Then I heard lots of complaints that I wasn't doing my demo and lab jobs. I was
>ready to quit! Then we hired a computer guy to take care of all the desktops
>and server. Now I just do the lab machines and all the other fun stuff that I
>describe on this list.
>
>
>
>>I realize this is personal, but it would be a great help if some of you with
>>similar responsibilities could send me either an official or an unofficial job
>>description. Thanks.
>>
>>
>
>And when you hire this person, I would seriously consider a starting salary very
>close to that of a new assistant professor (I think it should be more, but I'm
>biased too). I think we, as a group, are very underpaid and, as a group, are
>the most talented individuals in a department.
>
>I think this addresses the post that initiated this request as well.
>Here's a quick summary.
>
>1) Have expectations regarding expertise and growth. Your desire is to have
>an individual in your department that is a resource and enhances your teaching.
>
>2) Provide support for this person to learn and grow.
>
>3) Give this person room to explore, be creative, and have lots of
>independence.
>
>That's my 2 cents.
>
>Sam
>
>
>
>>- Andy
>>
>>
>>

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Well thanks!



Sam



Jason St. John wrote:

cite="midPine.LNX.4.61.0409011030100.1446@buphy.bu.edu">
I think Sammy put that very well and saved me the time of articulating all 
those thoughts. Well said, Sam.
-jmsj
____________________________________________________
Jason St. John 617.353.2634 stjohn@bu.edu
Boston University Physics Lecture Demonstrations
Room 255, 590 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

On 2004-09-01.08:56 owner-tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu sent:

Dear Andy,

My official job description has little resemblence to my function here in the
department. I suspect that's true for most of us demo/lab folks. I've been too
lazy to revise it to reflect, at least in my opinion, what I do for the
department. So let's work on your list a little bit below...

A Gavrin wrote:



I have the sort of question that perhaps should be answered off list. At
IUPUI, we are considering creating a position that would have some mix of the
following responsibilities:

1. Create/maintain demonstrations and help faculty with them.



I would expect the demo person to not only create/maintain them, but also become
experts at performing them. Note the word perform. Doing demos in class is an
art form that must be practiced and practiced until you feel comfortable doing
the performance. This is not unlike an athlete or a musician. I don't expect
the faculty to know all the nuances, they don't have enough experience with this
equipment.
So instead of the demo person 'helping' faculty, I would expect to see the demo
person instructing the faculty on how to properly do the demo. In addition, I
would expect the demo person to advise the faculty on which demos to do and
which not to do.
Here's an example: last year, a theorist teaching 2nd semester into physics is
doing a demo. His back is toward the students. He can be heard because he uses
a wireless mic, so that's ok. But he's blocking the demo - the students cannot
see what he's doing! Let's just say that we had a little chat. I get a little
testy when all of my hard work is for naught.

Of course, all this comes with experience, so what do want in a newbie. How
about writing in the expectation that he/she will work towards those goals -
that your institution is interested in not only building the department, but in
building a career for that lucky individual? You can write in your description
that the department will support travel to national meetings such as AAPT and
encourages that individual to seek out other learning opportunities.


2. Create/maintain undergraduate labs 



See #1 above. The 'maintain' can be a drag and is the most unrewarding aspect
of my job. And perhaps a newbie should be expected to do this for experience,
but now I have more important and (more importantly) more interesting things to
do with my time which in my opinion, provide greater benefits for the
department. I hire work study students to do these sorts of repetitive tasks.
Here's an example. I just had my work study student disassemble all of my Pasco
carts, clean all the bearings and replace all the broken parts. Once I showed
him how to do one, he did a great job with the rest. That was a day's work.



3. Maintain student machine shop and do some light machine work 



That's almost an impossibility for one of us. If I had to do it, I'd scream. I
wander into our student machine shop and can never find anything - nothing gets
put away. It's like going to the gym and trying to find the set of dumbbells on
the rack where they belong. They're never there, they're usually on the floor
at the furthest location from where you are standing! And that's assuming
they're together. Lots of times each one of the set is in a different location.
Dave doesn't have that problem though, because nobody can lift up the ones he's
looking for!



4. Maintain 2 labs worth of computers (networked together but not connected to
campus).



This is a reasonable expectation. If you have a decent group on campus that
handes computers, work with these people to teach your guy. This will save lots
of time and experimentation.



5. General dept troubleshooter 



Be careful on how much of this happens. This could severely limit growth on
items 1 and 2. When I first started, I was fixing everyone's WIN 3.1 problems.
Then I heard lots of complaints that I wasn't doing my demo and lab jobs. I was
ready to quit! Then we hired a computer guy to take care of all the desktops
and server. Now I just do the lab machines and all the other fun stuff that I
describe on this list.




I realize this is personal, but it would be a great help if some of you with
similar responsibilities could send me either an official or an unofficial job
description. Thanks.



And when you hire this person, I would seriously consider a starting salary very
close to that of a new assistant professor (I think it should be more, but I'm
biased too). I think we, as a group, are very underpaid and, as a group, are
the most talented individuals in a department.

I think this addresses the post that initiated this request as well.
Here's a quick summary.

1) Have expectations regarding expertise and growth. Your desire is to have
an individual in your department that is a resource and enhances your teaching.

2) Provide support for this person to learn and grow.

3) Give this person room to explore, be creative, and have lots of
independence.

That's my 2 cents.

Sam




- Andy







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From cablem@wfu.edu Wed Sep 1 11:31:24 2004

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