Dr. Elizabeth Catlos,
University of Texas at
Dr. Eric Peterson,
Illinois State University
What is service
Common early career/later career service examples
Reasons Why and Why Not to perform service
Questions to consider when asked to perform service
How to say no
WHAT IS SERVICE?
Activities in which faculty members offer professional
knowledge, skills, and advice to their communities
(University, profession, and public).
Service activities, whether compensated or not, draw on
professional expertise, relate to the teaching and
research missions of the University, and, typically, imply
a connection to the University.
Service role of faculty is expansive and often vaguely
Reviewer for a journal
Reviewer for a funding agency
Participating in dept/school/college/university committees
Chairing scientific sessions at
Part of planning workshops, seminars, conferences for
Writing letters of recommendation to students
Mentoring students and student organizations
Serving on an editorial board for a journal
Serving/Leading a standing review board for a funding agency
Developing or chairing dept/school/college/university
Organizing a state/regional/national/international meeting
Responsibility for workshops, seminars, conferences for
Initiating and supporting foundation activities for successful
Develop a professional network among your peers
Meet people who can assist you with your research and/or teaching
Maintain relationships with people in your field
Learn about what your peers are doing
Cultivate a sense of collegiality in your field/dept/college/university
Improve management skills
Enhance your reputation
Desire to learn and/or improve how organizations operate
What is your depts. curriculum for the geosciences degree and is it
How does your university deal with student/departmental affairs
Desire to ―give back‖ or improve to the
Learn about what is required for service to your institution
Example: Illinois State University (ISU)
ISU recognizes two major sub-categories: professional service and
Professional service is the application of faculty professional expertise to
needs, issues, and problems in service to professional associations as
well as to business, government, not-for-profit enterprises, and the
University service is the application of faculty expertise to the operation
and governance of the University, including academic programs,
departments/schools, colleges, and other components of the University.
REASONS NOT TO
Not able to meet the needs in a timely fashion
Other priorities are more urgent
Unable to multi-task
Not a priority
Other issues are more important to your career (research, teaching)
Distracted by other items in your academic life
Already taken on or given too many responsibilities
Not of interest
Service goal is boring/tedious
Dealing with difficult people
No immediate reward
No feeling of connection with your
REASONS NOT TO
―Rather than being allowed– and indeed encouraged—to
concentrate on their academic work, many [are] sucked into a
plethora of activities often unrelated to their competence and
interests.‖ Banks (1984)
How is service recognized within you
department/school, college, university?
Clues are in the Faculty Annual Report and Faculty
What are the expectations for a faculty member at
What is the purpose/goal of the service role?
Does the purpose/goal fit into your professional
Are there opportunities for service that compliment
your teaching or scholarship, i.e. service learning or
scholarship of engagement?
How long is the commitment?
What are you committing yourself to do? What are the
Can overlap exist so your service is part of your research
What are the implications if I say ―No‖?
Will I alienate myself within my discipline?
Will I upset peers in my department?
Will it free time for other pursuits?
Service will not get you tenure, but the absence of service can
be a detriment to promotion.
Identify what is important to your dept/college/university in terms of
Plan your service commitment goals as you do your research
33% research 33% teaching 33% service?
50% research 25% teaching 25% service?
70% research 20% teaching 10% service?
Start with internal service and branch out as you become more
If you have not been asked to serve by your dept., discuss with dept.
head reasons why
Identify a committee in which you would like to serve
Identify organizations important to you/your field that you are motived and excited to
be part of
Geological organizations often have management boards/discipline groups that need
Consider international/national/section/discipline/local organizations
Consider organizations that may be peripheral but still useful for your field/important to the
Use service as an opportunity to learn and grow
Expand research, teaching, training opportunities
Become involved in service learning that allows you to combine scholarship or
teaching with service.
It is OK to say ―No‖
Consider the request.
Be respectful, even if the person asking isn't
Say "no" as simply as possible
Preface your 'NO' by saying 'I understand what you are saying'
before refusing - it helps if people feel empathy.
You may need to say no many times before the requestor hears you.
If your refusal upsets someone, remain calm and, if possible,
remove yourself from the situation.
If you are unable to do so, change the subject or compliment them
Remain non-confrontational and resist the urge to explain
HOW TO SAY NO
Transfer ownership of your refusal to something else
―I cannot do this. I am working on X, Y, and Z and would not be able to
commit the time.‖
―My schedule is booked now.‖
Do not lie when you explain why your answer is no.
Help the requestor find an alternative
―This proposal/manuscript is not my expertise, but I recommend this
―This committee is too much for me, but I know he is looking for a
―Is this something my student could do? I think she would appreciate the
Stand firm. It is your time they are asking for and you have the
If you feel uncomfortable, ask a third party/mentor for assistance
HOW TO SAY NO
Banks, W. (1984) Afro-American scholars in the university:Roles and conflict. American
Behavioral Scientist, 27, 325-338.
Berberet, J. (1999). The Professoriate and Institutional Citizenship Toward a Scholarship
of Service. Liberal Education, 85(4), 33-39.
Boice, R. (2000). Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus. Needham Heights, MA:
Allyn & Bacon.
Fear, F.A., and Sandmann, L.R. (1995). Unpacking the Service Category:
Reconceptualizing University Outreach for the 21st century. Continuing Higher Education
Review, 59(3), 110-122.
Illinois State University (2013) Appointment, Salary, Promotion and Tenure Policies
Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#556 Faculty Service Roles and the Scholarship of
Engagement, O'Meara, K.A. (1997, Mar.). Rewarding Faculty Professional Service
(Working Paper No. 19). Boston: New England Resource Center for Higher Education,
University of Massachusetts-Boston, Graduate College of Education.
Ward, Kelly, (2003) Faculty Service Roles and the Scholarship of Engagement. ERIC
Digest ERIC Identifier: ED480469