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Making Service Count: Advice For New Engineering Educators

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Launching Successful Academic Careers

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.849.1 - 15.849.8



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Paper Authors


Andrew Rose University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

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Andrew T. Rose, Ph.D., P.E. is Associate Professor and Department Head of Civil Engineering Technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. His teaching interests are in the areas of geotechnical and structural engineering. His research interests are in curriculum development and inovation, engineering education, engineering history, historic structures, and incorporating practical design experience and professional practice issues into the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum. Dr. Rose received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1985 and 1986 and a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1995.

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

Making Service Count: Advice for New Engineering Educators


Promotion and tenure requirements for engineering educators vary for different types of institutions and generally focus on one’s achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service. At many institutions, research publications are necessary for successful promotion and tenure cases. For non-tenure track faculty and for faculty at teaching institutions, scholarly publications resulting from research activities may not be as critical. In these cases, publications documenting innovations in teaching and service activities may be acceptable as evidence of scholarship. This paper considers examples from the literature showing how service activities can lead to scholarly publishing opportunities. Recommendations are also provided for new engineering educators wishing to utilize their experiences in various types of service activities in developing scholarly publications.


Engineering faculty members are typically evaluated on their contributions and achievements in teaching, scholarship and service. While most new faculty have an idea of the expectations and receive guidance in teaching effectiveness and scholarship associated with grants, research and publishing, the expectations for service often receive little discussion. Usually serving on several committees within one’s department and university, or with professional organizations, is considered sufficient.

Non-tenure track faculty, such as lecturers and laboratory instructors at research universities, as well as tenure-track faculty at teaching institutions may not be expected to perform significant levels of funded research which result in publications as part of their jobs. However, expectations for achievement in scholarly and professional development activities still exist and are becoming more prominent in the promotion and tenure process at teaching institutions. Heavy teaching loads and a lack of graduate students often result in limited time and resources for conducting research resulting in scholarly publications. In most cases, scholarship and publishing in one’s technical field is still necessary, but service activities can provide additional opportunities for scholarly publishing that may be seen favorably by promotion and tenure and renewal committees.

Boyer1 indicates the potential for service activities to play an important part in the scholarship of faculty. To be considered scholarship, service activities should have some direct relation to one’s discipline. These service activities are typically significant and demanding undertakings that require rigor and accountability, similar to research activities. In many cases, these service activities are typical of senior level faculty whose years of effort and contributions in their fields have led them to be selected to serve on various committees and commissions related to the profession.1 Boyer’s view of scholarship resulting from service activities at the highest level of one’s profession has limited applicability for new engineering educators who are often just starting out in their professional field. In order for a new engineering educator to use service as a

Rose, A. (2010, June), Making Service Count: Advice For New Engineering Educators Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16461

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