Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Your CV and Your Email--

Don't Make Your CV (or Your E-mail or Your SMS) Your Enemy: Fishy Stuff Emits Noxious Odors

        Deans, tenure committee members, and many faculty are experienced readers of CV's. So if you claim to be a PI, or you claim to have received a grant, or if you claim publications,... and there is something fishy, they will sense it. If you were a Adjunct, don't claim to be a Lecturer. If you were not the formal PI on a grant, never say or imply you were. Don't give yourself titles that do not exist or you did not have. Your dissertation itself is not a publication. Articles in fourth ranked journals won't count for much. Etc. Make sure your references do not include intimate friends, although of course as you mature many of your references will be long-time acquaintances. And do not be surprised if a reader of your CV checks up on your claims, maybe calling a friend in a department to find out what's going on.

        Never send out email that you would not want to be shared more widely. It's fine to say that you disagree with the dean's or provost's policy, but that you believe the provost is sleeping with the new professor (the allegation may well be true.) won't fly--at least if you are sending the email from your university account. By the way, your text messages may well be available to outsiders. So, better to say it one to one, than write it. This is not a matter of free speech, but of prudence.

      Finally, if you are in a vulnerable position, either have an attorney on retainer or a back-up position. If you have a fishy CV, you need to find a place where you can swim with the fishes. The problem is that universities are filled with people who fish for hidden details (in nature, in archives, in interviews), and they will find something if it is there.

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