Teaching Center Blogs

Looking for another way to engage the Center for Teaching on your campus? Try contributing to their blog. Here are a few mentioned in a message from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (also known simply as “POD”) discussion list:

Is there a teaching center (or writing center) blog on your campus? If so, do you contribute? Let us know.

Yet Another Leadership Development Opportunity

If you’re not already planning to attend the Frye Leadership Institute or the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute, you may be interested by the newest entrant in the field, the Peabody College Academic Library Leadership Institute to be held for the first time this summer at Vanderbilt University.

The latest collaboration between Patricia Senn Breivik and E. Gordon Gee, who brought us the landmark Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library almost 20 years ago, the Institute promises to explore “new roles for libraries that may emerge from [the broader context of higher education] to support the goals and priorities of the parent institution. ”

Also interesting is Vanderbilt’s challenge to other leadership development programs:

“The focus on understanding leadership and the external environment, coupled with an in depth understanding of the higher education context of libraries, distinguishes Vanderbilt’s institute from others, which emphasize management skills and the internal library organization.”

Wow – anyone from Harvard or EDUCAUSE want to reply to that one?

Without taking anything away from what will undoubtedly be an excellent program at Vanderbilt, it seems a bit unfair to suggest that some of their competitors in an increasingly busy “summer institute” market aren’t also taking a broad view of the role of the library leader as educational leader.

One thing that did disappoint me in reading the program overview is that, despite the presence of Breivik and one of her colleagues on the National Forum on Information Literacy on the faculty, I didn’t see information literacy noted as a curricular area for discussion. Topics such as strategic planning, human resource development, and fund development are common fare among many library leadership development programs and it would have been nice to see this program stake out some new territory by including a clear focus on the place of the library in the teaching and learning landscape on campus.

Start your engines because applications are due March 1st!

Higher Ed BlogCon

From the Bibliocasting discussion list:

Thomson Peterson’s, PRNewswire, and CASE are pleased to present *HigherEdBlogCon – Transforming Academic Communities with New Tools of the Social Web. * This brand-new, all-online event aims to bring together in a single Web space many of the leading players who are transforming academe with their use of the new tools of the Social Web.

All presentations will be made available on the event Web site at no charge to participants (with the exception of the live, Web/audio CASE Online Speaker Series events).

*HigherEd BlogCon 2006* will focus on the use of blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, vblogs, and other digital tools in a range of areas in academe. We invite you to propose presentations for HigherEd BlogCon 2006.

See the full CFP at Information Wants to be Free.

MLA Engages Tenure, Scholarly Communication Issues

For those who haven’t followed the various reports from the recently-completed annual meeting of the MLA, there were interesting discussions of re-thinking tenure requirements for faculty in the Humanities and of the role of digital scholarship as a route to tenure. An overview can be found in today’s Inside Higher Education.

As with Andersen’s Digital Scholarship in the Tenure, Promotion, and Review Process (2004), the fact that this discussion is coming from within a discipline suggests an opportunity for the academic librarian to act as an advocate and a resource for innovation in scholarly communication.

Academic Administrators: Beware If A Librarian Is On Your Search Committee

Once again, academic librarians get no respect. I came across this quote in an article in today’s online version of the Chronicle . It’s from a disgruntled job seeker who’s been the “faux finalist” for one too many searches. This refers to an institution that has already decided to hire an internal candidate, and the interview process is just a sham held to document that the search was truly open to all. The author (a pseudonym is given) seeks to provide a public service to other academic administrators by providing the warning signs that one is probably a faux finalist. Here’s the offending one:

It all starts with the search committee. Beware if it’s filled with people who have no campus authority, such as untenured faculty members, librarians, nonacademic administrators, or anyone hired only a few months ago. If it is, that’s a signal that the more senior people with real clout have better things to do with their time. If the search were truly open, then deans and top administrators would want to have some influence over the decision.

Admittedly, we don’t wield the same power as a dean or vice-president, but this strikes me as an extension of an unfortunate stereotype to suggest that academic librarians have no campus authority. I guess we do nothing all day but sit around and read books, which makes us ideal participants for sham search committees so we can ask polite questions like, “So what books have you read lately?”. I suppose like all the negative stereotypes we encounter it is best to have a sense of humor about it, and to simply do what we can each day on the job and in our relationships with our academic colleagues to dispel ridiculous notions about who we are and what we contribute to the academic enterprise.