November 5, 2001
ramps up research
Aimee Pozorski is a graduate assistant in the Office of Strategic Development.
On Monday, Oct. 1, in the Carlos Museum, President Bill Chace and Interim
Provost Woody Hunter gave the Research at Emory Commission its formal
charge: to develop a profile of research at Emory against a backdrop of
trends at other U.S. universities; to consider the influences and potential
advantages of these trends and realities; and, in 2003, to propose improvements
the University should consider.
Throughout the year, this regular column in Emory Report will
update the community on the commissions work, as well as discuss
current improvements related to faculty research. Since receiving their
charge, the faculty who make up the commission have begun clarifying questions
and defining terms, including the term central to this project: research.
As chair of the commission, Claire Sterk emphasized the group defines
research in the broadest sense possible and considers all types of research,
which requires a more evolved understanding of university scholarship
Commission members have formed four committees working in the following
areas: Committee One, led by Carol Worthman and Les Real, considers different
research philosophies at Emory, while Committee Two, led by Kim Wallen
and Michelle Lampl, focuses primarily on the edifying issues that influence
Committee Three, led by Sterk and Lanny Liebeskind, investigates how
Emory encourages research both structurally and culturally; and Committee
Four, led by Jim Fowler and Art Kellermann, emphasizes the ethical dimensions
of research such as balancing research with family, teaching and service,
and the values underlying these dimensions.
While guiding the work of these committees as well as balancing their
own research and teaching, Sterk and co-chair David Carr have realized
in the last several weeks just how important Research at Emory has become.
We know Emory is strong in research, but we need to reflect on
the balance among its various aspects and functions throughout the University,
Susan Frost, vice president for Strategic Development, suggested that
this commission aims to recommend improvements for Emory and also
to contribute to national conversations about research universities in
Both Carr and Sterk are well aware of what this commission means to Emory
as a nationally known research university. According to Carr, In
the last decade or so, Emory has ascended headlong into the ranks of the
major universities. Its important that it take stock of its major
activities: teaching and research. It needs to proceed according to a
plan of its own, rather than merely reacting to outside pressures.
It was entirely appropriate that teaching, which was thought by
many to be the neglected side of the new research university, be subjected
to a major university review, Carr continued, referring to the recent
Commission on Teaching. But now research deserves the same scrutiny.
Sterks belief is similar, stressing that the work of the commission
is, in part, to set our own priorities as a research institution.
Both Carr and Sterk emphasize that this new research commission will
not reinforce a long-standing dichotomy between research and teaching,
but rather serve to link the two by concentrating on undergraduate and
graduate student relationships with faculty researchers and mentors.
Quadrangle Fund: A new resource
According to Wihl, [This fund] is an effort to build working relationships
between faculty and studentsstudents whose scholarship is central
to the work of the graduate schoolin areas that cannot be sustained
in individual departments. In fact, he said, both the seminar and
research funds allow faculty and graduate students to develop new and
cross-disciplinary initiatives that raise significant methodological issues.
Both the Quadrangle Fund and the Research at Emory Commission work to
create opportunities for faculty and students, as well as find ways to
support their initiatives. In each case, faculty have welcomed the occasion
to identify their interests at the ground level, define their topics of
research for support and practice rigorous scholarship in every possible