It may be a tough thing to do, but tenure-track faculty members need to recognize and put an end to relationships with “dead weights, negatives, dispensers of bad advice, draggers-down of your conscience, and saboteurs of your labors,” writes David Perlmutter, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, in a Chronicle of Higher Education article published last Monday. Above all, good academic friends will offer honest feedback and be upbeat. “Friends should be there for one another in times of trouble. But if someone seems hellbent on sinking his or her own career, it won’t help you to join in on the downslide,” Perlmutter adds.
Perlmutter analyzes other hallmarks of unproductive friendships in the world of academia and gives some tips on how to end them gracefully. You can read the full article here.
For more on the added value and perils of laboratory friendships across hierarchical ranks, check out this past column from our Mind Matters columnist Irene S. Levine.