Just wanted to bring attention to an article I read today in the Chronicle of Higher Education written by a post-doc in the geosciences. S/he (it is anonymous) has had a very successful run as a post-doc both from a funding and publication perspective, and is writing about the academic job hunt and the importance placed on teaching at research universities.
So now I’m wondering: Are department heads interested in research because they place such value on the selfless pursuit of knowledge? Or does all that grant money just help them make the case for a new building? Is the learning environment better once a university has that new student center with a Starbucks and Macintosh G4 workstations for checking e-mail? Maybe. Does it facilitate student learning to have those state-of-the art classrooms that wirelessly beam PowerPoint slides to students’ laptops? Probably. But wouldn’t it be even better if the faculty could put some of that 80-percent effort back into teaching, so those PowerPoint slides beaming across the classroom make sense?
Just as an aside, the Chronicle of Higher Education actually has a fairly steady stream of good articles on all aspects of being in academia. Unfortunately I can’t seem to add them to google reader…..