Saturday, November 08, 2014

When You Just Shouldn't

My pal over in Underwater Basketweaving needs to write the basic thank you letters to the people who served on their deepwater search.  It's a basic thing, partly to acknowledge the extra work these folks put in (extra work anyone on a search puts in), and partly to make sure that they get something for their file, which can be important for tenure and promotion and such.  For that purpose, the UB person always CCs the chair.  It just means that a copy goes into the personnel file, so that folks can see it if they look.

But this time, my UB friend says he wants to also CC the dean because he wants to make sure that the dean is aware that her decisions matter, that her putting off the decision meant that people did work for nothing, more than they would have if she'd made the decision two weeks ago, or if she'd not given hints that the search was going through.

While tempting, perhaps, this seems like a bad idea to me, and I've told him so.

What do you folks think?


  1. Anything that brings you to the attention of the dean in any way other than "this is fabulous news I have for you" might backfire.

  2. I don't see anything wrong with it, but I wouldn't expect the Dean to get the hint, either.

  3. I don't think that any good can come of it, although I am certain I would be tempted to do the exact same thing. I am often not good at protecting my own interests when principles are involved, though. Perhaps a private conversation with the dean would be better. But again, what does the person hope to improve/gain? There's still not going to be a hire, and there's still going to be people who lost valuable work hours. It sucks bad all around.

  4. I would not cc on individual thank you notes, but I might drop the dean a note to say, I'm sending these & they will go in the personnel file, just so the work is acknowledged. Because I'm sure at some point when there is a raise, or promotion, these will come across the deans desk. So it's an explanation, not a reprimand..

  5. We only send letters (from the personnel committee and chair) and teaching eval numbers up the line; the dean can request more, but I've never heard of one doing so.