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T Ips For Greasing The Tenure Track 3

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.925.1 - 6.925.8

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David R Finley

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

Session 2275

Tips for Greasing the Tenure Track 3

David R. Finley Tri-State University


Utilizing knowledge gained from participation in NSF’s New Century Scholars (NCS) Workshop at Stanford University as both a scholar (1999) and subsequently a senior scholar (2000), best practices for new engineering faculty are identified based upon the author’s four years of personal experience in academia. This third paper in the series, all by NCS senior scholars, provides the perspective of an engineering educator at small, private, undergraduate engineering college in the Midwest.

First, the academic environment at the author’s home institution, Tri-State University, is presented. The author then reviews his job functions as a newly promoted associate professor and department chair: teacher, mentor, administrator, and consultant. A "Top Twelve List" of best practices for new faculty, based upon personal experiences and utilizing NCS materials, is then offered. In addition, the success of incorporating a specific project-based learning activity, design and calibration of water bottle rockets, into a freshman-level introductory course is discussed. Finally, an illustration of how specific elements of the NCS Workshop have impacted the author’s teaching practices is presented. These elements include:

• knowledge of learning styles • use of formal and informal student course evaluations to improve teaching • setting goals to achieve important, not urgent, objectives in life

These elements are tangible suggestions for new (and more experienced) engineering educators to take back to the classroom and try for themselves.

I. Introduction

Tri-State University (TSU) is a private, undergraduate institution with a rich tradition of providing an affordable, “hands-on” engineering education. Located in Angola, Indiana, TSU is approximately 45 miles northeast of Ft. Wayne and 60 miles west of Toledo, Ohio. From its start in the late 1800's as a normal school, TSU has grown into a regional educational leader for the 21st century specializing in engineering, business, and teacher education. Of the more than 1200 students on campus, roughly one-half are enrolled in the School of Engineering and Science (SOES).

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Finley, D. R. (2001, June), T Ips For Greasing The Tenure Track 3 Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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