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Promoting Research while Advancing Instruction

By Jeffrey Buller

It’s an issue many colleges and universities are facing today: How do you expand research capacity while still preserving an institution’s traditional emphasis on effective teaching? How is it possible to improve your reputation in one of these areas without abandoning your reputation in the other? How can you expand your mission in an environment of increasingly strained budgets, greater competition among institutions (including public, private, for-profit, and virtual universities), and rigorous accountability? And how do you balance the expectation of so many legislatures and governing boards that you demonstrate student success with their simultaneous expectation that you obtain more and more external funding from sponsored research and the frequent pursuit of grants?

At many schools, the answers to these questions have consisted of little more than modest adjustments in existing practices—for instance, modifying the formulas used in setting faculty loads, rewriting tenure and promotion procedures so that they include a “teaching track” and a “research track” (each with different criteria), or sponsoring workshops on the scholarship of teaching—when in most cases a more revolutionary approach is required. Colleges and universities have changed significantly over the past few decades, and the time has come to redesign entirely the now outdated “academic triad,” rethink the whole concept of how merit pay is allocated, and reexamine the very mission of higher education. Only through such a radical strategy can institutions hope to promote research while still advancing instruction.

Part 1 Continued at: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/academic-leadership/promoting-research-while-advancing-instruction-part-1/

Part 2 Continued at: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/academic-leadership/promoting-research-while-advancing-instruction-part-2/

Part 3 Continued at: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/academic-leadership/promoting-research-while-advancing-instruction-part-3/

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