If small to mid-sized institutions want to remain relevant in an ever-changing climate, they must increase their emphasis on research.
That was the overwhelming sentiment of a panel of faculty and administrators Thursdayduring a convening of the Atwood Institute on Race and the Democratic Ideal at Kentucky State University, who said a shift to posing teaching versus research as an either-or proposition is cheating students.
All students, regardless of their preparedness coming into college, are capable of conducting research and should be required to do so before receiving a degree, panelists said.
Increasingly, more and more jobs require research, and even those which don't require formal research require the kind of analytical thinking which research informs. But there cannot be a transformation to focus more on research without properly equipping faculty to incorporate both teaching and research together. Professional development is critical, as is building the infrastructure to support a research enterprise. Making an investment in hiring faculty who are accustomed to research will help those on campus who are not, but administrators must also take consideration of the workload requirements and the time faculty need to be able to research.