Promoting Research While Advancing Instruction, Part 3

Academic Leader

Perhaps the most fundamental reason why teaching and research are viewed as competing rather than interrelated activities—and a key cause of why it’s so difficult to reunite these processes in faculty load assignments and evaluation systems—is that colleges and universities themselves are structured as though instruction and scholarship were utterly distinct enterprises. Examine the mission statement of almost any institution of higher education, and you’ll discover that teaching and research are listed as important but not necessarily related functions of the organization. In other words, relatively few mission statements present learning as a goal achieved through independent inquiry and research; even fewer describe discovery, integration, and application as results actively sought through teaching. Once again, the focus is on the activity rather than the result, and that perspective shapes everything that is familiar about the modern university.

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