Types of Higher Education (Future Professoriate Open Blog #1)

During the future professoriate lecture, we have learned about many types of higher education institutions.  Having been involved with Virginia Tech for all of my higher education, it is enlightening to learn about the other types of institutions that are available to students.  It is both interesting and exciting to see that higher education can be accessible to many different kinds of students.  The full time student who lives on campus and does not need a side job to afford their education is not the only student who seeks a higher education.  From research 1 universities to liberal arts colleges to community colleges, it seems that there is a place for anyone that seeks out a higher education after high school.

As an unconventional graduate student, myself, I can see a great value in the differing types of higher education.  As of now, I am teaching public speaking in the communications department of Virginia Tech and really enjoy certain aspects of teaching.  However, I am not sure that I would want to spend the rest of my career doing research in an attempt to gain tenure at a research 1 university.  It is refreshing to know that there are some different options for me to continue my teaching in higher education.  Looking into liberal arts colleges and universities that do not look upon research as the main component to being a professor has renewed an outlook of mine to continue teaching into my future.  I would like to find a university or college where I can hone my teaching, classroom, and student interaction skills in order to become a better teacher and not just use teaching as a way to allow me to continue research.

I look forward to learning more about higher education and the ways in which it serves all kinds of students.  When it comes to gaining a higher education, all students that look to better themselves should be given that chance, whether it be here in the United States or overseas.  I believe that the different ways to earn that higher education and the different ways in which teaching that higher education is fostered is a great thing for the future of the United States.


Ethics (Neumeister)

A case of misconduct was brought about alleging that Dr. Neumeister of NYU engaged in falsifying information in research that was funded by outside grants.  The part of this case study that I found interesting was the fact that a settlement was garnered.  The settlement included a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement in order to conclude the investigation.  What I find particularly interesting is that by coming to a settlement, Dr. Neumeister never had to admit any wrongdoing.  In a case where outside money is granted in order to conduct what, I’m sure, any organization would assume is legitimate research, I believe that an admission of guilt is in order and possible reimbursement of funds.  Normally, I would not assume guilt but as part of the agreement Neumeister ‘voluntarily’ gave up certain research privileges, which seems to me to be admitting, at least, some negligence.

The bigger picture here is why do researchers commit these acts of ethics violations.  It is not to further science.  Is it to fill a quota of getting published? Is it to try to make a name for themselves? Is it in order to substantiate grant money?  I’m sure some or all these reasons apply in some cases but the crux of the problem ultimately comes down to ethics, both the personal ethics of the researcher and the professional ethics of the discipline.  Especially in the medical field, a case like this should be looked into closer, considering the health risks that are involved.  A settlement and a ‘voluntarily’ 2 year ban on research doesn’t seem to me to be sufficient.  The lack of ethics displayed in this case not only diminishes any future research done by Neumeister but also taints research in the field as a whole.

Mission Statements Blog Post


Stanford University Mission Statement:

“to extend the frontiers of knowledge, stimulate creativity, and solve real-world problems, prepare students to think broadly, deeply and critically, and to contribute to the world, and deploy Stanford’s strengths to benefit our region, country, and world.”

Stanford University is located in Palo Alto, California, USA and is considered a Tier 1 research university.  Stanford’s mission statement  focuses on the idea that its students are prepared to use critical thinking to help solve real world problems. The statement spotlights the university’s research background and how it can be used to benefit members of not only its own community but also the world.  It really stood out to me that research and knowledge were in the forefront of the mission statement.  Although there are references to a more social use of this research, Stanford seems to value the idea of critical thinking and research.  I believe that listing this first in the mission statement is a clear sign that Stanford wants to be known for preparing its students to think critically and creatively.

Seton Hall University Mission Statement:

“To integrate and strengthen shared fundamental values, practices, traditions and principles that guide moral decisions and offer deeper insights into the mystery of God and his creation.”

Seton Hall University is located in South Orange, New Jersey, USA., and is a ‘R2’ (high research activity) university. The mission statement of Seton Hall focuses on the more social and religious aspects of scholarship.  This is evident in the words used, such as ‘value’, ‘moral decisions’, ‘mystery of God’, and ‘creation.’  There is no mention of research or academia within in its statement, leading one to believe that religion and social values are more apparent in the day to day life of students at Seton Hall.

These two statements differ in that Stanford wants to acknowledge the academic and research aspects of their university and Seton Hall University chooses to highlight the social and religious side to their university.  Although both universities clearly conduct research and look to extend knowledge, Stanford’s mission statement opts to highlight that while Seton Hall’s places research in the background and focuses on the religious effects of scholarship.