Does the perfect trifecta exist?

One of the topics we have discussed before in class is the traditional expectation that professors should excel at all three pillars of academia-teaching, research, and service.  This has always made me a little apprehensive about going into higher education as it seems virtually impossible to be the best at all 3.  I find it interesting that these 3 are mentioned in the mission statements of the land grant universities.  Does this expectation then simply reflect the university as a whole trying to achieve what they stated they could?  Like we have discussed, I think that rather than put that on the individual professors, why can’t a university achieve this trifecta through the collective effort of all its professors.  Wouldn’t we be better suited to try and find the best of the best in each pillar?  Meaning why don’t we let those that excel at teaching teach and those that excel; at research do research and so on.  It seems like when you try and have everyone be the best of the best, you really just end up with a lot of mediocrity.  And what university strives to be the best at being average?

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