Publication Date

April 1, 2005

Perspectives Section


The Oral History Association has established a task force to investigate the role oral history plays in professional evaluation of academics for whom the practice is a major part of their work. The task force is particularly interested in the ways in which oral history practice is weighed in decisions regarding hiring, retention, promotion, and tenure. In what ways are publications based upon oral history considered when assessing the publication record of colleagues, or in teaching or public service or other aspects of faculty standing?

The task force is interested at this stage in gathering anecdotal evidence as well as formal reports or statements about established policies that mention oral history as a factor in hiring, retention, promotion, or tenure decisions of academic departments or academic institutions. The task force would be particularly interested in hearing from those who have developed an oral history practice, which they have submitted as part of their dossiers, or from those who have served on various committees evaluating colleagues on the basis of their work in oral history. The information collected now will be used to formulate and develop a detailed and comprehensive survey of the profession.

Responses to this preliminary inquiry should be sent by July 1, 2005, to Ronald Grele, 90 Morningside Drive, #3A, New York, NY 10027. E-mail:


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