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Re: General versus Specific Position Listings

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  • Ryan Wyatt
    In a discussion with a Slovak friend once, I asked how Europeans managed having so many political parties. He replied (wise for his 19 years, perhaps because
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 2001
      In a discussion with a Slovak friend once, I asked how Europeans
      managed having so many political parties. He replied (wise for his
      19 years, perhaps because he wanted to go into politics) by describing
      the differences between America's two-party system and his own
      country's multi-party system. In America, Republicans and Democrats
      *as individuals* have a reasonable degree of freedom within their separate
      parties' camps. In Slovakia, at least, the diversity of party platforms
      required correspondingly strict adherence to the individual planks of
      the platform. The price of freedom of choice, it seems, is a lack
      of politicians' individual freedom.

      That's kinda what I think is going on with the job descriptions... (No,
      I'm not sending my Naderites Anonymous email to the wrong mailing
      list.) Many of us create highly specialized job descriptions (our party
      platforms) in order to have specific items (planks) that we can use
      to leverage hiring somebody. We ignore the missing or rotted planks
      in order to get the especially-desired ones.

      Hmmm. I liked that metaphor more when I started writing it, but I don't
      really feel like extracting it at this point. :|

      >Perhaps fulldome-l-ers have views on whether it would be useful for new and
      >upgraded facilities to have access to information about what types of skills
      >other domes are finding useful in various posts, what sorts of
      >organisational structures other institutions are using, what rates they are
      >having to pay etc. Given that many of us do need to attract talent from
      >fields that are not traditionally the realm of the planetarian, is there
      >information which we could compile that would be useful?

      I'm going to agree with you and then punt. Staffing decisions here at the
      LodeStar Astronomy Center are handled more by the Executive Director
      David Beining, so I hope he'll chime in with a few observations, but I can
      outline some of my thoughts on the topic (a few of which probably correspond
      to David's way of thinking).

      We plan to integrate much of our production with existing resources in the
      university system, at least as an experiment. With the University of New
      Mexico's Center for High-Performance Computing and active animation
      programs, a lot of talent currently hard at work in our fair city has
      expressed an interest in working with us -- which means an additional
      burden on staff here to mediate inclusion of this material and to manage
      its creation, but we hope with exciting and valuable results. Plus, it
      helps fulfill our obligations as part of the university, insofar as we should
      provide learning experiences to the university's student body.

      We will then complement the outside talent with an in-house animator,
      but since we recently lost our producer/animator, this position is currently
      in flux (i.e.,. not filled).

      LodeStar *is* in a transition phase right now, so we'll probably be better
      able to comment once things settle down.

      But I hope *others* (nudge nudge, wink wink) will choose to comment.

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