The article on committee service that appeared in the Jan. 5, 1998, issue of The Scientist (R. Finn, 12[1]:13) was most interesting. I agree with Professor Earl D. Mitchell's comment in the article that one of the most helpful things is to serve on a review panel. From personal experience, I have found not only that service on national panels is intellectually stimulating, but also that interactions with colleagues from other institutions help one keep a proper global perspective. In addition, for those faculty members situated in less-than-ideal home institutions, these getaways can be very therapeutic.

The same bonuses of networking and peer support also can be derived from universitywide committees, especially for faculty members unfortunate enough to be situated in a department with an unsupportive or even downright hostile environment. University committees can bring together colleagues from diverse cultures that ordinarily do not interact.

As a former chairwoman...

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