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Guidelines For The Industry Academic Transition

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Graduate Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.651.1 - 9.651.12



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Paper Authors

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Sig Lillevik

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

Session 3155

Guidelines for the Industry-Academic Transition

Sigurd L. Lillevik

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Portland Portland, OR 97223


Recently, practicing professionals with several years of industry experience have joined the academic ranks. This experienced, but new faculty member faces many of the same challenges as the recent Ph.D. hire plus one additional issue: his colleagues assume that he knows what he is doing and how to teach. This may or may not be a valid assumption. Further, some universities offer little faculty mentoring and the new professor must “sink or swim” his way to success. To avoid frustration, guidelines are presented to help the new hire avoid “trial-and-error” mistakes and they fall into three general categories: peer networking, teaching skills, and time management. Of these, teaching skills require the greatest attention. The new professor is encouraged to incorporate active learning exercises into his lecture and to integrate cooperative learning project in the course syllabus. Finally, attending a teaching workshop such as the NETI sponsored by ASEE is a great way to acquire an introduction to effective teaching techniques.


Much has been written about a student’s transition from the school setting to industry,1 a doctoral candidate’s transition to a faculty position,2 and how our universities and industry can cooperate for the good of both organizations.3 But recently, some practicing professionals with significant experience have crossed over the line and left industry for academic faculty roles.4-5 The purpose of this paper is to provide guidelines for the professional to quickly and seamlessly assimilate into this new role. Others interested in this description include department heads or deans as they will gain invaluable insight to the challenges facing their new hire.

We assume that the practicing professional has been employed in industry for 15 – 20 years, obtained a Ph.D. some time ago, and is working in the private sector (not Government). Further, we assume that the professional has been successful and is leaving industry on his own accord. We will focus on the teaching transition and only lightly touch on research and service responsibilities.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Lillevik, S. (2004, June), Guidelines For The Industry Academic Transition Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13399

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