Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who Cares about Research?

When I accepted the position at my current state university, many people took it upon themselves to open my eyes to the harsh realities of this type of schools. "This is first and foremost a teaching institution," they would tell me. "You will be expected to just teach, teach, teach. Forget your research, nobody at your new school will care about that. If you do any research, it will have to be on your own time. And you will have to make efforts to conceal your research from your department because they might believe you are wasting the time you could have spent on improving your teaching."

Well, my friends, it all turned out to be a huge, steamy pile of BS. The administration of my new university is obssessed with research. A day doesn't go by when we aren't begged, cajoled, importuned, and encouraged in any possible way to do research. The university offers money, support, salary raises, and promotions to people who are actively pursuing a research agenda. If you publish something, everybody celebrates you for weeks.

This just goes to show how many preconceived notions about different kinds of universities there are out there. Young academics might hear these horror stories and decide to reject a job offer from a state college because of the fear that their research might suffer. And this absolutely does not have to be the case.


Anonymous said...

You'll need to tell us the name of this great school very soon. Just in case they are hiring this year. I am going on the job market (hopefully!) and I like everything you say about this place.

Clarissa said...

Write me an e-mail to the address you can see on the right and I will be happy to tell you all I know. There are also some posts here about the job search process that you might find useful.

Good luck!!