reshaping (my) graduate education

Lesley A Perg lperg at GAS.UUG.Arizona.EDU
Tue Jul 18 17:05:39 EST 1995

SLForsburg (susan_forsburg at wrote:
: lperg at GAS.UUG.Arizona.EDU (Lesley A Perg) wrote:
: > [snip]

: I think we may see some difference here between fields.  While I agree
:  that there is NEVER a disadvantage to including everything on a cv,
: including teaching, I also have interacted with enough searches through 
: colleagues or my own experience on both sides of the line to be aware 
: that in the bio sciences, if  they are interested in teaching, 
: they will tell you so but it is not the major factor.  If you are applying to a large undergrad university ,it is obvious they want you to
:  teach. BUT they also want you to maintain that vigorous research 
: program, as they all want those overhead dollars.  Thus, you can't get 
: into that environment if you dont want to do research (the question of 
: the original post) and moreover, if they do not perceive your work 
: as first rate and fundable, they will not be interested in anything else
: no matter how many teaching awards you might have won.  After all, these
:  days they have upwards of 300-400 applicants to choose from and the
: success rate for first time RO1s at the NIH is....about 15%?  They are making a big investment in startup funds and they want it to be
:  returned.  It never hurts to be outstanding at both research and 
: teaching, but you won't get anywhere in the university environment 
: without the research.

I think that it is pretty much the same for all fields; the research is 
still the major factor for tenure.  *No one* is going to become / remain 
a tenure-track professor at a research one university without a healthy 
research program.  I just wanted to point out that teaching is also 
starting to become a factor.  This is sometimes coming internally; in the 
case of state universities like the UofArizona, there is also pressure 
from the board of regents to focus more on education.  

I agree that all the teaching awards in the world will not typically gain 
someone tenure.  A professor in the Chemistry department at the U of A 
was recently denied tenure, despite multiple teaching awards and 
annually winning one of the 'five-star' teaching awards voted on by 

I also think that there is a subtle difference between 'not getting 
anywhere' and not getting tenure.  While a lecturer position does not 
carry the salary, tenure, or prestige of a professorship, it is still an 
extremely valuable position.  We have a lecturer in the Geosciences 
department, and besides handling most of the the intro classes, he also 
is the major advisor for the undergraduate club, is the honors advisor, 
and teaches a course on geoscienes education.  I feel that having someone 
dedicated to teaching and mentoring undergraduates is one of the reasons 
that we have such a large undergraduate population (about 130, very large 
for a geo department).

	|		|  Lesley A Perg  lperg at
	|   /\		|  
	|--/--\--/	|  The proportions and relations of things are  
	  /    \/	|  just as much facts as the things themselves.
	    	\	|             -DLS, _Gaudy Night_

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