To the Editor:
As a department chair, I am responsible for writing letters of recommendation for faculty (my department’s faculty and faculty from other universities) undergoing the promotion process. I tell my faculty that any task remotely related to anything at work should be represented somewhere in the CV. If faculty have trouble finding a place for it, I help them. When it comes time for promotion, if these activities represent a substantial portion of the faculty member’s time, I mention it in the Chair letter and indicate why that activity is significant and important.
Therefore, I very much disagree with designating a task related to work as “non-promotable” (“Female Faculty: Beware the Non-Promotable Task,” The Review, October 5). If you do the task well, I will find a way to indicate why this is an important contribution in the Chair letter for promotion.
In my view, important academic contributions goes way beyond the usual numbers of peer-reviewed publications and grants received. Nothing work-related is “non-promotable.”
Joe W. and Evelyn M. Grisham Distinguished Professor and Chair
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
University of North Carolina School of Medicine