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Engineering Faculty Teams: A Proposed Process Model

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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



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Page Numbers

6.434.1 - 6.434.10

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Paper Authors

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Doria Hickman

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Bala Ram

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Sanjiv Sarin

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Paul Stanfield

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

Session 3242

Engineering Faculty Teams: A Proposed Process Model

Doria Hickman, Paul Stanfield, Sanjiv Sarin, Bala Ram North Carolina A&T State University

I. Introduction

The engineering faculty member is placed in an environment where he/she is encouraged to work as an individual, as a single entrepreneur in competition with other faculty members. Rewards are based on getting better teaching evaluations, or more research publications and money than other faculty members. This individual model is justified as one that motivates faculties and matches the natural individualistic tendencies of most engineering faculty members.5

In spite of the individual nature of the engineering faculty model, faculty members are often asked to work in committees to achieve some organizational objective. Faculty members typically meet, perform the task they have been given, and disperse. Skills needed to perform successfully as a team are assumed to be inherent.

With the introduction of Total Quality Management initiatives at many engineering institutions, the industry model of teamwork has been advocated by administrators3, but rarely accepted and enacted by faculty.7 Committees are encouraged to work more like “teams”. The success of this team model in industry and academia has been mixed, with the TQM concept of teams negatively viewed in many organizations.6

Adams1 addresses the potential impact and substantial issues of TQM team implementation with engineering faculty. Teams are expected to increase the administrative responsibility of faculty, redistribute power and authority among faculty, and revise the nature and philosophy of faculty workload. A survey instrument for evaluating team effectiveness is proposed by Adams.

This paper seeks to develop a basic model for engineering faculty teams. Specifically, academic processes are analyzed to determine the appropriate role of teams. Faculty attitudes towards teams and problems with teams are surveyed and reported. Finally, a modified team process model is proposed.

II. Academic Processes, Faculty Tasks and Role of Team Work

Academic departments in institutions of higher education have a core set of processes and tasks. One way to view these processes and tasks is by considering the following functional categories: (i) Student Recruitment, (ii) Educational Processes, (iii) Educational Resources, (iv)

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Hickman, D., & Ram, B., & Sarin, S., & Stanfield, P. (2001, June), Engineering Faculty Teams: A Proposed Process Model Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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