Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ethical Principles at VT

As an investigation for ethic in academia, I tried to find ethical statement or codes of my academic place, VT. I search in the google and VT website and I could not find the exact statement related to ethics just for instance we found for mission statement . However I find a webpage from VT website that is related to ethical behavior. this is the most compatible with the subject I search for. In this statement, different principles for different members of VT has been defined. Someone can investigate the ethical behavior of faculty members, students, University and so on.
As a student of Virginia Tech it is interesting for me to find out the principle statement and ethical behavior I should do. For students, They emphasized on free pursuit of learning. The mission said: “We value and promote differences among students and respect students as individuals and serve as their intellectual guides and counselors. We make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that our evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit.We respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professors and students.” On the other hand, the mission avoid student to have romantic or sexual relationship with “students whom we are in a position to evaluate by virtue of our teaching, research, or administrative responsibilities.” This rule is just for avoiding conflict of interests.

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Study of a Research Misconduct

We are going to talk about ethic in academia next session. One of our assignment for this week is about studying of a research misconduct. we are asked to go to http://ori.dhhs.gov to learn more about a research misconduct. in misconduct case summaries, I looked at several reports to learn more about this issue. one of the interesting thing that I noticed is most of the recent and past misconducts came back to field of studies such as biology, medicine and psychology. I wonder why in such fields we see more research misconduct? Why researchers in these filed do a plagiarism such as falsifying data or fabricating of them? I don’t have any specific explanation for this issue!

In addition as an assignment I reviewed one of the case studies related to Mr Savine, Adam C. The report can be found in the following link . Adam who was a former doctoral student in WUSL in psychology and he did a research misconduct in the project funded by NIH and NIHM.
In three publication and six conferences he used from falsifying data. According to ORI for instance he falsified data to show “prospective memory is influenced by three dissociable underlying monitoring patterns (attentional focus, secondary memory retrieval, information thresholding), which are stable within individuals over time and are influenced by personality and cognitive differences.” The data of respondent modified such that these hypothesis will support.

The whole of the report tried to show the way he modified or falsified data to support his ideas in papers and conferences articles.

I think we should think more about the reason of such behavior. Why does a person in such level commit in such behaviors? Maybe the pressure and stress of our educational system lead a person to do research misconduct! for me finding out the reason of this behavior and try to find a solution for it , is more important to find people who falsify data and use them!

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Do Tenured Professors teach badly?

Last week I read an article about the comparison of adjunct professor versus tenured one. The recent study released by NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) showed evidence that in Northwestern University professors outside of tenure-track system performed much better than their tenured counterparts. The author also said in this article that:
“They also found that stu­dents who were rel­a­tive­ly less qual­i­fied ac­a­demi­cal­ly fared par­tic­u­lar­ly well when they were taught by fac­ul­ty members out­side the tenure sys­tem, es­pe­cial­ly in courses where high grades were gen­er­al­ly tough­er to earn.”
I think the results of this research make sense because professors in tenure-track system, specially those who are not tenured yet, have more stress towards their research and most of their mind involve in research even when they are in class. On the other hand, the main responsibility for adjunct professors or visiting faculty members is teaching and as a result these faculty members mostly focus on teaching and try their best to teach more efficiently.
This is only an immature hypothesis and I think we need more studies in different universities for testing that hypothesis.
That article can be found in following link:
http://chronicle.com/article/Ad-juncts-Are-Bet-ter/141523/

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Mission Statement of UVA vs VT

Virginia Tech and UVA are two tradition rivals, both academically and issues related to Football !
In this blog post I am going to compare the mission statement of UVA and Virgina Tech.

In the mission of VT we can read:

“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.”

we can see the importance and emphasis of “learning”, “Teaching” and “research” in the mission statement which is prominent in the whole society of VT. In the strategic management, the mission statement means the main goals that a group have and when some one see the emphasis of “Research” in Virginia Tech statement, it means that here at Virgina Tech, we face with an atmosphere which is based on research. The pressure on young faculty members and graduate students show the importance of “research” as well as “teaching” from point of view of board of vision. This mission I think shows mainly the concentration of VT on Engineering.

Now take a look at UVA mission:

“The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining a spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and the role of mankind in it. Activities designed to quicken, discipline, and enlarge the intellectual and creative capacities, as well as the aesthetic and ethical awareness, of the members of the University and to record, preserve, and disseminate the results of intellectual discovery and creative endeavor serve this purpose. In fulfilling it, the University places the highest priority on achieving eminence as a center of higher learning.”

This is the Statement of purpose of UVA . Goals and purposes of this university highly show the importance of social science and humanities there. In this statement, concepts such as “role of mankind”, “ethic” and “higher learning” are prominent and the view of board of vision show the importance of these notions.
As a social science graduate student, I think if someone wants to work on the social sciences , UVA is much better place where as Virginia Tech is better for engineering and technology studies.

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Preparing the future professoriate: Introducation

This semester I took one of the required courses for getting “Teaching Certificate”.  The course name is “Preparing the Future Professoriate”. The professor is going to talk more about the teaching procedure and preparation for being a faculty member in a university. Last session, the class was mostly about introducing of students as well as talking about the big picture of the course and syllabus. I think I will learn more about the aims of this course in second session.

One of the assignment that students should do is blogging. This is weird for me to blog as an assignment but I try and do my best !

 

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