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Re: [BKARTS] Degrees and Bushwacking



in reference:

"Peter, who is twice formally degreed and who
has served for some years as an academically-based
conservator, at Syracuse University.
 But Peter is the very model of a university
based binder-conservator, and the role he plays is
illuminating."

Yes, and maybe Peter is "the exception that proves the rule" as they say in academia.

"Read it and ask how much of this kind
of institutional experience and expertise is gained
from binding thousands of books."

Yes, and there is a multitude of people who fill that description
yet can't treat a book to save their a**, yet are called conservators instead of administrators.

"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);"

that is a specious and rediculous assumption.

"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."

and if you look at conservation lab logs of work done from the point of view of quality and quantity, and compare it to private labs I think you'll see that the institutions are
generally refuges for the people who went through programs, and usually (though not always) would't be hired for a paid position at a private lab.

"If a binder/conservator hopes to land a position in an
academic institution, an academic degree is expected.
So get it."

I agree, if that's where you want to work, then all you have to do is play "the game".  You're actual capabilities are secondary.

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?

That's true, and you can count them without removing your shoes, or even the other glove.
And if the prestigous institutions hired people who were really qualified, but without degrees etc, what would happen to the credibility of the institutions and their programs.  Better hire the person with credentials to prove the need of a degree, than one who can do the work and make the degreed person look lacking.  It's a symbiotic relationship of patting one's own back.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the people who get degrees working for institutions, it's where they are most comfortable, and where they belong.

Bruce Levy

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