Monday, February 12, 2007

Management of senior colleagues

I'm working on a project with a group of faculty from across a few disciplines. While I like them all as people, one of them is a real challenge for me. He's the PI for the project that originated the group, and is an extreme micromanager. He's in a discipline fairly distant from mine, and so while understands the premise of my work and how it connects with the project, he understands none of the technical details - and yet, he questions my every move on said details. I don't take this personally, because he does it to everyone else in the group as well - so I know this isn't an issue of rank or gender, it's just his style.

We're working on another proposal related to this project, but with the focus of this one squarely in my area of expertise.

Dr. Micromanagement is again making me crazy by:
1. Demanding that he be listed as the responsible party for all objectives in the proposal, despite the fact that most of them are way, way outside his area of expertise, and despite the fact that I am the PI on this proposal,
2. Not submitting any verbiage for the proposal for the pieces he actually IS responsible.

My husband, listening to me vent, wonders why I just don't kick the guy off this proposal, and find people who are easier to work with. It's not really in my best interest to do so, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I am just an assistant professor and he's a full professor well respected and rewarded for his research.

And also, I am developing a thick and diplomatic skin about issues like this, so, I can deal. (But still!)

1 comment:

Ms.PhD said...

YUCK. He doesn't sound like just a micro-manager, because if he were really one of those, he'd have written the whole thing himself.

No, he sounds like a egoist, if he wants to take credit for work he hasn't done at all. I would think twice about keeping him on at this point without having an up front discussion about who is doing what and who will get credit for it. I just saw someone where I work get screwed on a whole series of publications, because he didn't lay down the ground rules when they wrote the grant to fund the work "together" (read: he wrote the whole grant, and the other PI is listed as the senior person on it).

I admire your cool head about the whole thing, but you might regret it later if you can't calmly confront this guy about getting your due amount of credit.