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Leadership 104: The Teacher Scholar Culture

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade I

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.839.1 - 13.839.8



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Paper Authors


Jerry Samples University of Pittsburgh -Johnstown

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JERRY SAMPLES is Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). He holds a BS ChE. from Clarkson College, and MS and Ph.D. in ME from Oklahoma State University. He taught at the United States Military Academy for 12 years before joining UPJ in 1996. His recent work has been in the area of foundations of good teaching and development of advanced teaching methods.

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

Leadership 104: the Teacher-Scholar Culture


The Carnegie Classification of colleges and universities presents a natural divide between those that are “teaching” focused and those that are “research” focused, with shades of gray sprinkled in between. This divide provides the basis for commentary such as, “we are a teaching school” or, “we are a research university” with no implied ties to the other function: scholarship or teaching.

The teacher-scholar model is one implied in Boyer’s book Scholarship Reconsidered [1] where scholarship is divided into four discrete types with the “scholarship of teaching” set forth as an acceptable form of scholarly enterprise. The model is further described as a method whereby scholarship informs teaching, currency informs teaching, and pedagogy is developed or improved and turned into scholarship so that new pedagogy is available to other educators.

Building a culture where “teaching faculty” accept the notion that scholarship is an important element in their role as a faculty member is one focus of this paper. Of equal importance is a culture where “research faculty” accept the notion that good teaching is an important element in their role as a faculty member is the second focus of this paper. Together these roles form the teacher-scholar as a necessary condition of the culture of the college or university. Formation of teacher-scholars is the responsibility of the leadership within universities and will be briefly discussed since without leadership, the teacher or scholar divide can become the preferential culture. It is common practice to accuse the “research” focused universities with forsaking teaching but it is just as easy for the “teaching” focused colleges and universities to forsake scholarship. A look at the necessary steps to achieve the teacher-scholar culture will compare the extremes perpetuated by the Carnegie Classification of colleges and universities.


The term leadership inspires the vision of a senior faculty member or an administrator whose wisdom permeates a meeting and from whom lofty decisions come down. Or, it is the person stuck with the role as department chair for the next three years because no one else will take on the responsibility. Actually, leadership is nothing more than influence applied to a group of people in hopes of getting them to move one way or another. In the collegial atmosphere of a College or University, influence can be exerted by anyone – even tenure-stream faculty: thus, the term leadership in the title of this piece.

The teacher-scholar culture is one that has been growing legs since the publication of Boyer’s book in 1990. Even before 1990 there was consideration of the need for teaching and scholarship in the academy but often as distinct ideas conjoined by tenure. The teacher-scholar model is not about tenure; rather, it is about overall excellence within the academy. A quick survey of the net reveals drafts recommendations, policies, and planning documents about teacher-scholar models at various institutions of higher learning. For instance, the teacher- scholar model at the University of Michigan - Dearborn is endorsed over a research-scholar

Samples, J. (2008, June), Leadership 104: The Teacher Scholar Culture Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3859

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