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Collaboration Leads To Benefits For Tenure Track Faculty

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.272.1 - 6.272.4



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Paper Authors

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Jay Porter

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James Ochoa

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Rainer Fink

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3375

Collaboration leads to benefits for tenure-track faculty

James A. Ochoa, Jay R. Porter, Rainer Fink Texas A&M University

Abstract In order to be successful, tenure-track faculty members strive to develop distinct research programs that lead to funded work and publications. To be sure, faculty must also be successful in other areas such as teaching effectiveness and service to their university and profession. It is in the pursuit of a distinct research area that tenure-track faculty often overlook, or even purposefully avoid, opportunities to collaborate with other faculty members in their department. Their appears to be a blind notion that such interactions can lead to a reduced level of recognition for one’s unique contributions. In contrast, tenured faculty members are less aggressive in avoiding research interactions and, in many instances, often seek out such opportunities. This team-friendly environment allows synergistic activities to evolve and be capitalized on, leading to stronger research programs. From an external perspective, funding agencies are placing a growing emphasis on interdisciplinary research projects. This trend has led to increased pressure on faculty to collaborate. In the case of industry-funded research, where projects tend to follow a multidisciplinary model, it is almost always the case that multiple investigators are involved. This paper addresses the issue of collaboration among tenure-track faculty members and describes several benefits that have resulted from a collaborative atmosphere created by tenure-track faculty members within the Electronics Engineering Technology Program at Texas A&M University.

I. Introduction. The tenure process at Texas A&M University is not unlike that at other major universities in the U.S. New faculty must achieve a level of excellence in teaching and research and contribute to the University and profession through service and outreach [1]. The quality, significance and impact of a faculty member’s accomplishments are key to their success. Because Texas A&M University is a research-intensive institution, its faculty focuses a great deal of time and effort on developing and expanding funded research programs. While new faculty members are typically highly motivated and have many ideas to pursue, they often face significant challenges in meeting the tenure expectations related to research because of their inexperience in winning external financial support. Since all researchers, both established and new, compete for the same funding, new faculty often have trouble getting “in the door.”

In this respect, collaborating with other researchers can be a source of great opportunities. By working together, doors can be opened to the new faculty member more quickly. In fact, many of today’s funding opportunities, especially industry-sponsored projects, are interdisciplinary and require faculty collaboration. At the same time, there is a perception that the only path to tenure is to create a unique and individual program. A study of the nature and organization of university-based U.S. engineering research, conducted by the Center for Technology Assessment Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Porter, J., & Ochoa, J., & Fink, R. (2001, June), Collaboration Leads To Benefits For Tenure Track Faculty Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9003

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