Teaching credit for undergraduate research?

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Joanne Stewart, Hope College
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Teaching credit for undergraduate research?

Do any of your schools give faculty teaching credit for doing undergraduate research? It seems like some of you have a required senior thesis and you get some credit for supervising some number of those.

Are there any other ways you're "rewarded" for supervising undergraduate research?

We have an unusual situation here, because in theory we get a 1-course release for doing research with students (we teach about 9 contact hours per semester instead of the college's required 12). But in reality, because of how we count credit hours and contact hours here, we're teaching 3 classes and our colleagues outside the natural sciences are also teaching 3 classes. Go figure. And our intro courses are unfortunately 2-3 times bigger than the typical class here, and we don't get any additional credit for that. Bottom line: We teach more and get less credit. I love this place. (End rant.)

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Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
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yes, and no. 

Everyone in my department has research students, but we don't technically get credit for it.  Or do we?  It's complicated.  Since everyone is research active, we don't have an akward situation where we are trying to compare our teaching load to someone who is not doing research. 

Comparing outside our department is of course, difficult.  Not all departments do "research," some do industrial sponsored "clinic," which is similar.  However, the faculty involved in clinic don't usually write the proposals to fund the projects (nor do they think of the project) but serve more in an advisorial role instead of a director role. 

Chemistry is one of the smallest departments (major count) at HMC, but has one of the largest presences in our common core;  we end up throwing about 1/2 our faculty at the first-year course every semester, and class sizes are generally larger than the average.

 That didn't really answer your question. As for "other rewards?"  Like what? "getting" to pad our CV with publications?  check.  "Getting" to write lots of grants with overhead but little to no thanks for the effort in the way of departmental allocations?  check.  Getting to work with students?  check, and I guess that's the best reward.

Adam

Maggie Geselbracht, Reed College
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We have a college-wide required Senior Thesis course (year-long).  The College tracks how many thesis students each faculty member advises, but there is no explicit teaching credit for this work.  The assumption is that everybody is doing it and of course that everybody puts in the same amount of time on top of their other teaching duties.  False and false.

At various times over the past few years, we have looked into the issues of thesis advising loads across the college.  They are not equal, either due to variation in the numbers of majors any one department has or the different methods by which departments handle assigning thesis advisors.  Most departments attempt to equalize the number of thesis students amongst the faculty, but Chemistry notably does not.  We try and give the students their first choice in thesis projects and thus thesis advisors and leave it to individual faculty to set their "limit" on what they are comfortable advising.  Within our department, that leads to anywhere between zero and 4, sometimes 5 thesis students per faculty member.

The College has been most concerned with faculty members that routinely have upwards of 4 thesis students each year, but has not come up with a consensus on how to deal with that problem.  Various suggestions were to reduce teaching load, accumulate time towards sabbatical at a faster rate, or reduced committee service, but all of those ideas were rejected for one reason or another.

So, no, basically, we get nothing.

Chip Nataro, Lafayette College
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WARNING: Rant to follow.

 We have by far the largest number of students per class of any department at Lafayette. We are not allowed to close our gen chem or orgo classes. Our teaching load is supposed to be 5 courses per year. Labs count as half a class. We teach all of our labs except general chemistry.

 All of our BS chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to do one semester of research with a faculty member. I would say about 75% or them will do two semesters (either because they want to or because they are doing their honors thesis). We get nothing for doing this in terms of load reduction, teaching credit, a gold star, etc.

 We are also required to contribute to the common course of study. Some formula based on the number of faculty in the department. Our 'Chem for Poets' class that can not be taken by science majors does NOT contribute to our common course of study contribution. 

 Our provost has recently learned how to count and has decided that some of the chemistry faculty were underload (myself included). I will now be teaching an orgo lab once per year, a task I am not overly thrilled with. One of the reactions of my colleagues seems to be let's cut the research requirement. 

 So, it appears my reward for having research students is that I now get to teach more and the best way to respond to this is to hurt our students by not requiring research experience. It makes so much sense.

Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
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Wow, Chip.  And yet, let me guess, research productivity is one of the criteria for tenure and promotion...
Chip Nataro, Lafayette College
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Joined: 04/14/2008 - 9:10am
Of course, scholarship is second, but a close second, to teaching.
molly235

I'm an online degree student but I had no idea that some teachers have to deal with this kind of problems. Actually I'm a little bit intrigued, I've always thought that the teachers supervising research students are promoted and highly rewarded for their extra work...