Teaching and Research

For the last few years, I have been dabbling in academic administration, first as Associate Dean for Research and now as Senior Associate Dean, Education here at the Tepper School of Business. While there are frustrations in this position (“There are how many courses not covered? And are all the adjuncts on vacation in Aruba now?”), some aspects are wonderful. Working with new faculty is a great pleasure, a pleasure that alone almost offsets the hassles. I love the excitement and the energy and the feeling that anything is possible.

This was easy on the research side of the organization: my job was to create a great research environment (subject to resource constraints, of course!), and that was very rewarding to do. On the education side, my job is a bit different. While some faculty love teaching, for others it seems to take time away from what they really want to do: research. How can they do any research if they have to do any teaching?

Teaching is hard, and takes time and energy. Does it take time away from research? While I can talk to new faculty about how teaching and research intersect, and how one builds on the other, I can see a fair amount of eye-rolling. Of course, I would say that: that’s my job! And when I explain that the entire “sports scheduling” part of my career happened due to an offhand conversation with an MBA student, the response is a mixture of “That’s what I have to look forward to? Sports Scheduling?” and “Sure, teaching might be OK for practical types, but what about us theory types?”

Thanks to a colleague (thanks Stan!), I think I now have the perfect riposte...Read more at Mike Trick's Operations Research Blog

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