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Directors' Directions

This week at Inside Higher Ed's Confessions of a Community College Dean, a reader asks Dean Dad whether accepting an academic directorship is smart career move. Because this reader would eventually like to move up the career ladder, he or she is unsure whether taking a director position would be considered "a step down."

While every institution is different, and it may depend on field, Dean Dad says that directorships are not necessarily dead ends. "They’re typically one step 'below' an associate dean or a dean … and they usually have narrower scopes of control," he says, but "accepting and working well at a role like 'director of transfer' could give you that credibility, as well as the direct experience that could give you a more informed perspective when you do start moving up the ladder."

Plus, he adds, directorships offer candidates more exposure to the administrative side of academia than most typical teaching/research positions do. "After all, if it turns out to be a mistake, you can always move back," Dean Dad says. "That’s a real plus."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.