In my new department there is a new chairman. This week he sent a mass email with his program: “so that we (hopefully!) become one of the leading departments outside the U.S.”
Among more mundane items, there were two changes that seem to define “leadership”:
2# I will investigate whether it is possible for promotions to set numerical research criteria based on journals publications (following the example of Tilburg, for example). Of course, those criteria are never completely written in stone, but they can serve as an important instrument for deciding about promotions (along with the criteria concerning teaching, etcetera).
3# I expect that in the short run resources will be rather dire, but that budgetary pressure will ease in the longer run. As soon as resources allow, I intend to provide a small reward (i.e. teaching load reduction) for publications in the top journals (AER, QJE, JPE, Econometrica, RES, Journal of Finance, JEL). Obviously, this is not an adequate compensation for the amount of time it takes to write a top journal article, but it is a token of appreciation and a way to influence incentives.
It hesitates, it’s cautious. The reader guesses that nothing will come of it. Yet, it deserves mention, to what purpose? To identify the chairman and his commitments? Or to comfort the colleagues with the horizon of self-love? Paradigm operates not only by repetition and mimicking, it does work as a distant yearning for repetition and mimicking.