Why academic administration was the right choice for me

From Nature Careers

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I have been fortunate to have had an academic career spanning several decades and four continents. At first, as with most academics, I was largely focused on research — but I very much enjoyed working with my students.

In my position as a young assistant professor at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, some three decades ago, I enjoyed participating in a handful of committees and doing other administrative tasks at USC when called on — much to the surprise of my peers, who would have rather spent all of their time focusing on research.

We all have heard the common wisdom at universities: administration is the realm of failed academics. Faculty members fiercely protect their research time. And this time is crucial — especially for young faculty members who are yet to fully establish themselves. However, learning how to work in committees and on other administrative and academic-leadership tasks benefits not just researchers, but also their institutions and beyond.

Read the full article on the Nature Careers Website –

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