Reshuffling the [Academic] Deck Chairs on the Titanic!!!

Apr 8, 2008, 6:47 PM |
I guess I’m not the only one confused about what REAL research is when it comes to our institution of “higher learning” which claims to be a research institution. I’m getting “mixed messages” from others who are in places of power, from different ethnic backgrounds with a variety of ages with as vast an array of educational experiences and work experience. We may all have our preferred mode of researching, be it quantitative or qualitative. We might promote certain theories to our liking and insist on our way of formatting it once the data is oozed into the final paper version (hopefully ready for publishing in a respectable journal). What it boils down to is following the rules, obeying those in authority. What happens, however, when those in authority are NOT to be respected because they have not done REAL research for themselves (read into that plagiarism) but have the title that suggests that they are real researchers and scholars?

Fortunately we have a few excellent writers and researchers on our campus. Their writings are gems to read rather than the chaotic and haphazard e-mails which come from frantic others who insist on throwing their weight around. The following is a quote from an economics professor whose name will remain anonymous:

“I always thought that the point (for society) of doing research was to create knowledge; and that the point of having a faculty of researchers was to share ideas in order to accelerate that creation. Of course, the real point, for us as academics, is the sheer fun and excitement of creative reasoning. An evaluation of a promotion case is an ideal opportunity for catching up on what our colleagues are doing and sharing their excitement. If our colleagues don’t quite make the final cut in the promotion process, so what? Our evaluations of their research should help them to improve and thus to qualify next year.”