Being in charge of education at a research university

May 19, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

I was Director of Undergraduate Programs for a while here in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech.  I recognize my job in some of the comments in the below referenced article.

This article talks about the amount of time demanded by the job, and that was certainly my experience.  A bigger issue for me was being in charge of education at a research university.  Many faculty at research universities love to teach and care a lot about it.  But the purpose of a research university is research, and nobody gets tenured or promoted for being a great teacher.  Being in charge of the least important thing is not a fun job.

I ate up those 40 hours before the semester even started. The rest of it came out of my hide. Don’t get me wrong — I love teaching. I even love higher education. But being a teaching chair is the second most thankless job in the industry. I’m convinced that being a dean or associate dean is the first most thankless job.

via Career Advice: Demotion or Promotion? – Inside Higher Ed.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Time to figure out high-quality online education Harvey Mudd’s Breadth Intro Course presented at NCWIT

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jim Huggins  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Is it any wonder that advances in teaching pedagogy take so long to propagate, if at all?

    We get the behavior we reward. If teaching doesn’t matter at a research university — and research universities are seen as “better” than teaching universities — then there’s no incentive to improve teaching (other than internal or intrinsic incentives).

  • 2. Barry Brown  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:12 am

    High school students need to be told the truth: that renowned research institution they’re about to apply to may not have the best teachers. They may be better off attending a teaching university for their undergrad degree and then going to a research institution should they decide to pursue a postgrad degree.

    It’s really a shame that although research faculty claim to love teaching, they receive little or no formal training in the art. I’m fortunate that at my college, teaching is job #1 and we are regularly offered workshops and courses in pedagogy.

    On the other hand, since teaching is our primary focus, we don’t get any TAs to help with the grading load. Ugh.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,045 other followers


Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 2,025,048 hits
May 2010

CS Teaching Tips

%d bloggers like this: