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Re: [BKARTS] Degrees and Bushwacking



Hear, hear

charles
PhD and a full degreed Master Bookbinder

On Monday, Dec 23, 2002, at 05:45 America/Los_Angeles, Donald Pollock 
wrote:

> I didn’t see the original posting of the Harvard
> position announcement, and I only dipped into the
> complaints about it when I noticed lots of postings on
> the subject, so forgive me if my belated comments are
> off target. People have made a number of excellent
> observations about the difference between practical
> skill/experience and formal degrees, but I have always
> assumed that Harvard is at least a modestly good
> institution and didn't get that way by expecting job
> qualifications if they were not relevant.
>
> So I checked the on-line curriculum vitae of our list
> owner, Peter, who is twice formally degreed and who
> has served for some years as an academically-based
> conservator, at Syracuse University. Forgive me,
> Peter, for using you as an example – you have not
> weighed in on this subject yourself, as far as I know,
> perhaps being reluctant to ruffle more feathers on the
> list. But Peter is the very model of a university
> based binder-conservator, and the role he plays is
> illuminating.
>
> Peter’s CV makes it clear that an academically based
> conservator, and presumably the sort of person who is
> being sought by Harvard, plays a role that goes far
> beyond the practical ‘doing’ of conservation. Peter’s
> comments about his position include reference to a
> wide variety of conservation and archival
> technologies, academic applications, grant-seeking,
> publishing, etc. Read it and ask how much of this kind
> of institutional experience and expertise is gained
> from binding thousands of books.
>
> Obviously much of this is learned on the job,
> especially as new technologies and applications emerge
> and must be incorporated into the conservator’s
> repertoire. Still, I suspect that Harvard, and most
> likely other academic centers, expect either academic
> degrees or formal training for the simple reasons
> that: prior familiarity with academic institutions is
> essential to working effectively within one, from the
> start; evidence of success in formal training is
> evidence of future success in additional training (the
> principle that, for college admissions, high school
> grades are a more important measure of how well one
> learns than evidence of what one has learned);
> evidence of experience in the other tasks that
> comprise the job could be essential – the grant
> writing, publishing, working collaboratively with
> faculty on research projects, developing strategic
> plans, managing a large institutional budget or a good
> portion thereof, evaluating technologies, etc, etc.
>
> I understand the bitterness in many of the postings,
> though I don’t consider it entirely fair or justified.
> If a binder/conservator hopes to land a position in an
> academic institution, an academic degree is expected.
> So get it. If you didn’t get it, why not? If there are
> applicants for the Harvard position who are
> outstanding conservators AND have formal academic
> degrees and training, why shouldn’t Harvard hire them?
> We can’t all be Bucky Fuller (let alone Mozart or
> Michaelangelo) – most of us have to get a degree. If
> you didn't, don't blame Harvard.
>
> Apologies for the length of this positing.
>
> Don Pollock
>
>
>
>
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>             resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
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>

             ***********************************************
            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                    <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
             ***********************************************


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