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Panel 5 | Precipice or Crossroads: A Symposium on the Future of Public Research Universities

Panel 5: Sustaining Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and the Arts

  • Since disciplinarity and inter or transdisciplinarity are widely held to be complementary rather than mutually exclusive, how should colleges and universities more effectively implement constructive relationships between discipline-based academic departments and new transdisciplinary collaborations and configurations? What steps might institutions take to advance transdisciplinary teaching and research?
  • Are there foreseeable, likely, or desirable changes in faculty personnel practices that promise to be productive of excellence in research, scholarship, and the arts or that, alternatively, threaten to promote mediocrity or worse?
  • How should colleges and universities maximize the impact of their research, scholarship, and creativity? How might colleges and universities shape research enterprises that address the so-called "grand challenges" of our era? How should institutions ensure the broadest possible access to and dissemination of their accomplishments? What steps might institutions take to better inform both the general public and policy makers regarding the extent of their contributions, thus more strategically shaping public policy?
  • How best can public research universities address the major challenges in graduate education, including the excessive attrition rates and time-to-degree characterizing many PhD programs and the plight of postdoctoral students, trapped in indentured servitude as research assistants year after year with miserly compensation and little hope for future faculty positions?
  • The National Academies have recently proposed a series of recommendations necessary to reaffirm the research partnership among the federal government, the states, universities, and various stakeholders such as business and foundations. How can public research universities achieve their share of the requested commitments (e.g., cost-containment at the national inflation rate, restructuring graduate education, deepened engagement with K-12 and undergraduate education, responding to the particular needs of stakeholders)?

Last modified November 15 2012 06:19 PM

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