And now, as so many of us are about to say good-bye to our colleagues for the summer, I would like to draw your attention to these bon mots from Bridget Crawford at Feminist Law Professors:
1 If a faculty member is a great teacher, but is not collegial, then the faculty member is not contributing positively to the educational institution.
2 And if a faculty member has the gift of communication, and understanding of a subject matter, and scholarship in a particular area; and if a faculty member has intellectual interests, but does not engage constructively with others, then the faculty member is not contributing to the academy.
3 And though a faculty member may be generous with one’s time in meeting with students, and though the faculty member may proclaim himself or herself a good teacher, if the faculty member is not collegial, then an adjunct position may be more appropriate.
4 Collegiality suffers long meetings, and is civil when others are not; collegiality focuses not on the faults of others; collegiality does not promote oneself at the expense of others.
5 Collegiality does not behave unprofessionally, seek personal power, provoke easily, speak ill of others.
6 Collegiality rejoices not in failures by the administration or faculty, but points out and celebrates success and achievements.
7 Collegiality is open to different viewpoints, believes others act in good faith, hopes for the best, admits when one is wrong.
8 Collegiality never fails (well, doesn’t fail too often), stops or vanishes entirely.
9 Because each of us is right sometimes, and each of us is wrong sometimes.
Ain’t #9 the truth? Read the rest of it here. I actually am a bit skeptical of the value of “collegiality,” because it seems to mean so many different things to different people, and it can be used unfairly as a weapon in tenure and promotion decisions. I think people can be uncollegial and still make positive contributions with their teaching and mentoring of students, contra numbers 1-3. I don’t need someone to be my best friend or cheerleader–I just need civility and colleagues I can work with. I think that’s what she’s getting at for the most part in points 4-13.
Or, as my very wise husband always reminds me when he’s trying to pull me back from the ledge: don’t be a jerk. No one likes a jerk.
21 Responses to “Letter from St. Paul to the Colleagues”