• Intellectual property issues. Given the intimate connection between ECSE researchers in academia and industry, departments and universities should promote these interactions. However, one of the most time-consuming aspects of developing these relationships is the resolution of matters related to potential intellectual property arrangements with industrially supported research, or research undertaken jointly with industry. All too often, a faculty researcher lines up an industrial partner, only to see the actual start of research delayed by many months while the university's lawyers negotiate with the company in question. A standard policy or prenegotiated umbrella agreements would go a long way toward facilitating academic-industrial research cooperation.3

  • Teaching assistant support. As noted earlier, grading and the maintenance of equipment and software place great time demands on ECSE faculty teaching time-intensive, laboratory-based courses. Adequate teaching assistant support for these courses is necessary if the faculty member is to maintain a full portfolio of professional activities.

  • Teaching assignments. Faculty starting a new ECSE research program will need to build teams to carry out the work. Departments can help by providing opportunities for such faculty members to teach advanced seminars in which graduate students can receive needed training in preparation for joining a research project.


At universities inexperienced in dealing with licensing and patenting activities, the potentially profitable research activities of ECSE faculty may generate conflict between the faculty and the university administration. As one faculty member put it,

Not only are experimentalists subject to undue pressure to get funding, but they are also the subject of university desire to raise funding through commercial ventures. Technology produced by experimentalists is often the subject matter of patenting and licensing activities. This opens a whole new realm of ''back-door university politics" that is unpleasant at best. Universities have yet to learn how to treat and deal with their faculty that produce valuable artifacts.

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