Strangely, I can't think of any time where a "philosophy of service" has been explained to me -- in graduate school or as a new faculty member, from the theory CS community or from my institution that employs me. Thinking about this, I find it rather odd. Surely, someone should be suggesting what's an appropriate level of time and effort to put into service, and where these efforts might best be applied.
(There is some advice I've seen in books for new faculty members. For example, Robert Boice's book Advice for New Faculty Memberssuggests that new faculty essentially spend as little time as possible on service activities, and make early service opportunities as self-serving as self-benefitting as possible. I roughly agree, but we should make this part of a well-reasoned philosophy of service -- the community should protect it's youngest members and help them flourish.)
I think this topic is ripe for community discussion, and some resulting general guidelines. People should have some guidelines as to what's expected -- what's usual and what's exceptional community service. (And to be clear, here I mean service to the scientific community at large; university service, for example, is separate.)
I'll start with two basic, over-arching questions. (I have more specific ones in mind, but I'll save that for the next post.)
- How much time should be spent on academic service activities? [My take -- 1/8 time, or at least one hour a day on average, for senior faculty. Less for junior faculty starting out, but increasing steadily toward that. Ostensibly, people in research labs should also be at 1/8 service time -- anyone know of any policies on that?]
- Should we be better rewarding service, and if so, how?