Jack of All Trades and a Master at Each

It seems the case that faculty are often put in a position where they are expected to be a jack of all trades and a master at each. Certainly an ambitious and unattainable goal given the multitude of responsibilities faculty (particularly those with dual research and teaching roles at institutions like Virginia Tech) face. The reading about Dr. Bonnie C. Yankaskas fighting demotion after a data security breach associated with Unit 2 in our Preparing the Future Professoriate class brought to light an unfortunate case study where requiring faculty to be experts in (seemingly) everything is potentially problematic. The write-up doesn’t provide enough information for a true judgement call to be made about the degree to which this researcher and others involved should each be held accountable for a hacker accessing research study files that contained personal identifying data of participants, and likely all are partially responsible. However, as principal investigator, the ultimate responsibility for everything related to a study does fall on her. To me, this seems unfair that researchers should also be expected to be IT experts as well, and that perhaps more indirect funds should be allocated to funding research-related IT personnel.

Thoughts? How is data security handled in your respective labs?



A PhD Student at Virginia Tech. This blog was created as a class requirement for Contemporary Pedagogy - Spring 2013. 

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