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Teaching Vs. Research: Perspectives From A Fourth Year Assistant Professor

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade: Outside Class

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1204.1 - 9.1204.11



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Paper Authors

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Jason Keith

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

Session 1475

Teaching vs. Research: Perspectives from a 4th Year Assistant Professor Jason M. Keith Department of Chemical Engineering Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931


This paper describes the experiences of a chemical engineering assistant professor over the first four years of his academic career, particularly the balance of teaching, research, service, and outside life. The paper will describe the following topics:

tips for success in the classroom, in the lab, and at home things that went wrong things that went right points of advice the author would have liked to have known when starting as a professor identifying a mentor who to ask / who not to ask for help

Although the author is a chemical engineering faculty member, the discussion will be of interest to all junior faculty and all senior faculty who want to help their new hires succeed.


The challenge that faces almost every new faculty member is the same: get tenure. However, aside from stating that you are expected to teach, do research (also called scholarship), and perform service, colleges and universities rarely tell the new faculty member what is required to achieve this goal. All you can probably expect is that a new professor will have to do more than the last person who got tenure due to the “sliding scale phenomenon.” Usually, the new hire usually hears something like, “Welcome to the Department. We’re glad to have you here. Here are the keys to your office. Your lab is down the hall. Good luck.”

This paper is meant to provide some friendly advice to professors on the tenure track or to people who want to help the new faculty member be successful, and will begin with a list of tips for success at teaching, research, service, and professional life. It will be interspersed with the author’s personal narratives which address issues such as: things that went wrong, things that went right, points of advice a professor would have liked to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Keith, J. (2004, June), Teaching Vs. Research: Perspectives From A Fourth Year Assistant Professor Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13809

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