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Service at a Research University: A Veteran Faculty Member’s Perspective for New Engineering Faculty

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NEE 2 - Strategies to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

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Paper Authors


John R. Reisel University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Dr. John R. Reisel is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He serves as the co-director of the Energy Conversion Efficiency Lab. In addition to research into engineering education, his efforts focus on combustion and energy utilization. Dr. Reisel was a 2005 recipient of the UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, a 2000 recipient of the UWM College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Teaching Award, and a 1998 recipient of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. Dr. Reisel received his B.M.E. degree from Villanova University in 1989, his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1991, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1994.

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Tenure in engineering programs at research universities usually is granted based on a faculty member’s performance in teaching, research, and service. New untenured faculty hires at such institutions often have a reasonably good understanding of the teaching and research components of this trifecta, but have questions about the appropriate amount of service to perform. On the one hand, service can open up avenues to expand research activities and enhance teaching. On the other hand, service can also cause faculty to expend valuable and limited time on activities that will not be well-received by a tenure-review committee. This can lead faculty members to question whether or not they should pursue particular service roles as they attempt to get their careers off to a successful start.

In this paper, the various types of service roles will be summarized. The potential benefits offered by the different types of service will be explored. Additionally, the negative aspects of the different types of service will be highlighted. The impacts of service on the career paths of faculty will also be discussed. With this information in hand, new faculty will be in a better position to wisely choose between different available service opportunities as they seek to produce the best portfolio for both their immediate goal of achieving tenure and their longer-term goal of having the career that they want for decades.

Reisel, J. R. (2019, June), Service at a Research University: A Veteran Faculty Member’s Perspective for New Engineering Faculty Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33261

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