I have been off since last Thursday and I had a lot of time to think about my position and in what direction I am headed. At my college, research is not given top priority. Certain administrators (as evidenced by my faculty orientation) would like to increase the number of faculty performing research but with the teaching load the professors have I don’t see that happening. At the same time, I realize that the more I am in this environment, the more I realize that I enjoy research and creating new ideas. Coming from a research institution, I experienced and witnessed the pressure of trying to publish. Since I am more of a public writer and have have published extensively in public arenas (Internet, local papers and magazines and even some international press) I didn’t want to be bothered with having to publish strictly academic papers. I wanted to be a public scholar who does both.
However, I have learned in my brief time at the college that the demands of a teaching institution are just as much as in a publish or perish institution. The emphasis is different. Further, since my college does not offer any graduate degrees the higher level preperation that you must conduct in order to teach graduate students do not come with the job, you have to push yourself to maintain that excellence. Further, with colleagues who are not really interested in publishing or conducting research; either because of the teaching load or because they just don’t want to, it is difficult to be in an environment where one feels the pressure of advancement or even learning by osmosis.
What am I saying? — I have realized that I am a research guy and will be putting more emphasis on research in the near future while trying to reach out to environments that help facilitate that mindset….