Teachers & Researchers
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Posted by: Amanda Bureau
Amanda S. Bureau, CAE, CVA
AIS Membership Director
An age-old schism exists in academia between teaching faculty and research faculty. Politics, pay grades, and personal goals influence perceptions about each type of faculty position.
Our most recent membership experience survey highlighted a dichotomy between our academic members’ career aspirations (64% indicated their career objective to be primarily or mostly research), and how they characterize their current institutions (only 42% indicated their academic departments are primarily or mostly research focused). These numbers stand out to me as a growth area for AIS. How can the association assist research faculty in achieving their career goals of more research-focused positions? On the flip side, what resources or services could we offer to provide a professional home for more teaching faculty?
I recently discussed this topic with Robin Poston, who has considered the issue differently since being appointed Interim Chair of the Business Information Technology department at the University of Memphis. What stood out to me from that conversation was the critical need to have effective teachers AND researchers for a successful department.
High-quality and consistent research coming out of your department can elevate your rankings, attract donors and corporate partners, and strengthen your school’s reputation in both local and global communities. High-quality educators attract and retain top students, prepare those students for successful careers, and create alumni who will be future donors and partners. Despite common “us vs. them” perceptions, both are critical to departmental success.
How does your department foster partnerships between teaching and research faculty? Poston