Tuesday, March 06, 2007

University Committees

Being employed at a professor at a university means not only doing research and teaching students, but also participating at the university governance. This is usually done by being a member in committees, and I am a member of several of such:

a) the Faculty Research Awards Sub-Committee (FRASC) is responsible for the post-graduate awards (MSc, PhD) in our faculty. In the meetings, the attending members of the committee decide on issues regarding degree awards, applications, and dismissals. The committee meets regularly once a month, and each meeting can last from 1 - 2 hours.

b) the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) is a more informal meeting of the professors of our faculty. Officially we did not have this committee until recently, but since the promotion of research is an important issue, we also meet once a month to report about activities regarding bids and results.

c) the Faculty Board is the main governing board of the faculty. Since September I have been appointed to be a member of this board, representing "research". This board is huge - there are about 30 members in it. They report on the activities and issues from the various sub-committees, and the meeting usually takes 3 hours.

Lately I had all three of these meetings within a short timespan: Thursday the FRASC meeting, Monday the Faculty Board meeting, and Tuesday the Faculty Research meeting. This takes time, in addition to the regularly scheduled activities... but it is very interesting to sit in them and listen, to learn about the university mechanism, and to actually participate and contribute.

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