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Practitioner in academia – what should a professor of the practice profile be for an IT University?

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2017 ASEE International Forum


Columbus , Ohio

Publication Date

June 28, 2017

Start Date

June 28, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks Session I - Skills Development

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Main Forum (Podium Presentation)

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Paper Authors


Oksana Zhirosh Innopolis University

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Oksana Zhirosh is a Head of Education Analysis Dpt at Innopolis University, Innopolis, Russia. With over 15 years of experience in the education business, she is focused on the research in building effective industry and academia connections, as well as promoting IT education to girls.

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Tanya Stanko P.E. Innopolis University

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Tanya Stanko is a Vice-Provost of Education at Innopolis University. She specializes in launching new Universities from scratch, including setting up curricula and polices, recruiting faculty and students. She holds PhD in Computational Aeroacoustics from the University of Leeds and worked as researcher at Technical University of Munich. Her current research interests include investigation of the professional competencies, gender diversity in engineering, international relations between universities, industry and government.

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The importance of bringing up to date industrial experience to universities cannot be overestimated. It may be even truer for IT schools due to ongoing and fast development in the field. A better understanding of “real life” engineering practice and building effective industry-university connections can be considered as two major goals of this quest. One approach to the task is hiring for the faculty from within the industry – namely hiring Professors of the Practice (also called Professor of Practice, or Professor of Professional Practice). The discussion about the role and position of Professors of the Practice at a university is broad. But how a university should make decisions regarding the necessity of such role for them, assignments for such industrial experts at a certain period of time, and also about their selection criteria and procedure? This paper reports on the ongoing efforts of developing a Professor of the Practice profile for a newly established Innopolis University in Innopolis, Tearstain, Russia. Being in its 5th year of operations and aiming to grow in terms of the number of both students and professors, Innopolis University is currently in the process of building a strong international faculty team. The strategy is that up to 20% of the faculty will be industry professionals. This research has 2 aims. First, to clarify the vision of the role and the profile of the Professor of the Practice from the perspective of members of the international selection committee. Second, to offer a set of recommendations to refine the practice of hiring for the role of Professors of the Practice for the university. The data for the research is developed from 12 semi-structured interviews of the members of the selection committee, including Innopolis University Director, Rector, the Dean, members of Advisory Board and Innopolis University Faculty members involved in the selection of the Professors of the Practice. Both very similar attitudes as well as significant differences in views have been found and are discussed in the paper. This current paper will be followed by further research on the Professor of the Practice generalized profile in top 100 IT schools per QS rating, and then by a case study on developing a Professor of the Practice profile or profiles for a new university and implementing improved selection procedure. Overall, such three-fold research will establish a model of making the hiring decision for the university.

Zhirosh, O., & Stanko, T. (2017, June), Practitioner in academia – what should a professor of the practice profile be for an IT University? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio.

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