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8 The Engineering Faculty For a number of reasons it has been difficult to attract and retain faculty members in U.S. engineering schools during recent years. A survey published in 1983 by the American Society for Engineering Education showed 1,400 unfilled faculty vacancies.23 The forces that caused an insufficient number of faculty to be avail- able are principally these: 1. Too few Ph.D.s have been produced in recent years. 2. Faculty salaries have been noncompetitive with industrial sala- ries by too large a margin. 3. The availability of state-of-the-art research equipment in most universities has declined relative to industry, causing many potential faculty members to choose industrial careers. 4. Other factors have made faculty careers less attractive than those in industry, such as excessive teaching loads, lack of support for faculty travel and supplies, inadequate support staff and teaching assistants, and lack of space for development of both instructional and research activities. The vitality of engineering education depends on maintaining a high- quality faculty consisting of an appropriate mix of persons with varying backgrounds and strengths. Some faculty should have their activities focused on the cutting edge of theory; others should concentrate their talents on the experimental verification of theory, and on the kind of 98

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THE ENGINEERING FACULTY 99 theory-experiment interaction that characterizes the very best research. Still other faculty should engage their efforts in the region where theory becomes transformed into new professional practice, and yet others should concentrate on the teaching of the best current prac- tice. Finally, a small portion may focus on other matters related to the practice of engineering, such as ethics, social impact, management,- and law. Not all schools will have faculty representing all of the facets listed above, although large schools may well have representation from all of them. Schools that emphasize undergraduate education will probably have their greatest strength concentrated in the teaching of current practice. Research universities have this function too, but will focus their strongest efforts on the development and verification of theory, coupled with the orderly transfo~ation of this theory into practice, principally through the writing of monographs and textbooks. In all of these cases, the faculty must have adequate opportunities for interaction with students. The teaching of engineering requires model- ing the problem-solving process, practicing problem definition, nurtur- ing the skill of making assumptions, providing feedback to the students as they progress through their solutions, and having the students evalu- ate their solutions once they are obtained. Students need to learn where their reasoning has gone wrong and why their assumptions are not reasonable, a need that applies to both graduate and undergraduate students.22 The Need for the Doctor's Degree It has often been pointed out that not all faculty in an engineering schoolneedto have doctor's degrees. Certainly, schools that emphasize programs in engineering technology have not demanded doctorates for all their faculty. The some can be said for schools specializing in under- graduate programs. Even research universities make a practice of employing a certain number of adjunct and part-time faculty to enrich the professional practice side of their programs, for which having a doctorate may not necessarily be a factor. These individuals will instead be chosen principally for their modem expertise and for their teaching ability. It is also a common practice inuDiversities withgradu- ate programs to employ their better graduate students to teach certain basic courses. These individuals will not have doctorates, and experi- ence shows that they are sometimes among the very best instructors in . . . t. be mst~tut~on. For universities with graduate and research programs, the percentage

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100 ENGINEERING GRADUATE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH of faculty who can function in roles such as those described above, without doctor's degrees, will be small. In the great majority of cases the faculty will be guiding graduate students, will be teaching courses at or close to the cutting edge of new knowledge, and will be personally engaged in research or other kinds of creative activity. For them, the kind of background represented by a doctor's degree is essential. The maturity and sophisticated understanding of a subject area that is the typical result of a doctoral study program, plus the discipline and depth of understanding stemming from the dissertation experience, produce a new, vital plane of understanding in the individual. In addition, it has often been correctly said that one of the major benefits derived from a doctoral program is that one has learned how to teach oneself. This ability is exactly what is required if one is to engage in research, because research by definition is teaching oneself about a topic concerning which little is known. It was a widespread practice, until after World War II, for engineering schools to employ faculty with master's degrees, but criticism by national study committees fell upon much of U.S. engineering educa- tion because faculty members in many schools did not possess a suffi- ciently advanced level of education in science and mathematics to prepare their students for modem technology.34 Recommendations were made that a major upgrading in educational level for engineering faculty was needed. Today, with the few exceptions previously noted, engineering schools with graduate and research programs almost uni- versally require new faculty to have doctor's degrees. Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty As mentioned in the previous section, many universities historically have used engineers from industry in the roles of adjunct or part-time faculty. Such individuals are usually chosen for their expertise in some branch of engineering practice, and frequently they con offer material to both graduate and undergraduate students that is not within the experience of the regular faculty. This enriches the students' educa- tion, though judicious selection of appropriate individuals is necessary, with special emphasis on teaching abilities. It is also essential for such individuals to be willing to devote much time to a task that, even though it is labeled "part-time," is likely to be much more demanding than was initially perceived. While many part-time instructors have been very successful and are highly prized by their academic col- lea~es, others have not been successful, often because they underesti- mated the time and commitment required to organize and teach courses of high quality.

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THE ENGINEERING FACULTY 101 Universities con ill afford to rely extensively on adjunct or part-time instructors. During the initial stages of the faculty shortages of the early 1980s, some schools relied so extensively on part-time faculty that they later came to believe that the quality of their instruction had declined as a consequence. As was pointed out earlier, much education occurs outside of the classroom, and some of the most important of that depends on unstructured student-faculty contact. Put succinctly, the faculty at least most of them must be on hand and available. As a general rule, part-time instructors are less available than regular fac- ulty for the kind of frequent student-faculty interaction that is desir- able. Although there are exceptions, of course, most part-time instructors are on campus for scheduled ciasstime plus a nominal num- ber of office hours for consultation, and then must hurry back to their regular jobs. After all, they generally have full-time responsibilities elsewhere, and must take those responsibilities seriously. Also, part- time instructors rarely are on hand enough to participate in program development, thus actually throwing an additional burden on the regu- lar faculty. If a majority of the faculty is part time, the result can even be a loss of control of the curriculum. As a final matter of concern, many universities are simply not located in regions with enough industry to make many part-time instructors available. In spite of the disadvantages, adjunct and part-time faculty con make a positive contribution to an engineering program, particularly when they can make a contribution by representing true-to-life professional problem solving. Therefore, colleges and universities should be encouraged to use adjunct and part-time faculty for the purpose of enriching the students' educational graduate and undergraduate pro- grams. However, excessive reliance on part-time faculty can impair the quality of an educational program, and it requires careful monitoring. Faculty Development and Self-Renewal The need for continuing education and self-renewal for engineers was discussed in an earlier section, but faculty need self-renewal, too. Continual self-renewal is a part of the definition of a scholar, and uni- versities expect their engineering faculty members to be scholars. This is the source of the common requirement that faculty members engage in productive research programs, because persons involved in such programs are constantly working at the frontiers of their fields and must keep current in those areas. The requirement for research is customary in institutions referred to as research universities, and the teaching loads in the; se institutions are generally adjusted to a level that makes a research commitment possi

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102 ENGINEERING GRADUATE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ble. In other institutions- those with little or no research involvement and with high teaching loads the need for faculty self-renewal becomes critical. For engineering faculty, a special kind of self-development arises from the need for a close association with professional practice. This is true to a lesser degree, or not at all, for professors of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In those fields, a professional meaning a person educated to the doctoral level does the same sorts of things that the faculty do. But most engineering graduates enter career activities that differ markedly from those of most of the faculty. Hence, engineering faculty must keep in touch with industrial practice. Furthermore, in some fields the pace of engineering research is being set by industry, not by academia. This situation makes it all the more imperative for fac- ulty in those fields to maintain industrial contact. Consulting relationships represent one of the most common ways of maintaining contact between faculty and professional practice, and this constitutes one of the strongest justifications for consulting. Industry-university joint research programs are another way to main- tain contact, although this particular means may be available princi- pally to research universities, whereas the opportunity to consult is not limited to research universities. {Consulting and other industry- university interactions are discussed below. J Sabbatical leaves are administrative devices expressly intended for faculty self-renewal, although opportunities for sabbaticals are not uni- formly available throughout all educational institutions. Certainly, the wide availability of sabbatical leaves for purposes of self-renewal is strongly to be encouraged, with stipends to the faculty set at a reason- ably large fraction of the regular salary so that the leaves are financially possible. Summer jobs in industry represent an attractive way to maintain professional contact, although such jobs obviously have to be meaning- ful enough to serve the intended purpose. However, industrial summer jobs for faculty can be counterproductive for faculty in research univer- sities, because summer is often the only time they con devote intensive effort to their research projects, the rest of the year being fragmented by teaching assignments arid administrative duties. In the context of self-renewal, a question arises concerning teaching loads. In recognition of the need for constant self-renewal through research, faculty in research universities carry lower teaching loads than do faculty in nonresearch universities. Yet, even in research uni- versities there is concern among faculty that teaching loads are too heavy, considering other responsibilities. iSee Tables 25 through 28 in

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THE ENGINEERING FACULTY 103 Chapter 9, " University-Industry Interactions," for further information on how faculty members spend their time. ~ There are serious questions as to whether faculty members in institutions where they must spend the majority of their time lecturing to classes can have enough time for self-renewal in view of other instruction-related assignments such as preparation for class, counseling students, and grading papers. A reap praisal of teaching loads would appear to be in order in such cases, with obvious implications for budgetary support. Findings and Recommendations 1. Schools that emphasize undergraduate education can utilize many faculty who do not have doctor's degrees. Universities with sig- nificant graduate and research programs will also be able to utilize some nondoctoral faculty in special roles. However, the faculty in such "research universities" should, in the overwhelming majority, have doctor's degrees. 2. Colleges and universities should be encouraged to use adjunct and part-time faculty to enrich students' educational programs. However, excessive reliance on part-time faculty can impair the quality of an educational program and should be avoided. 3. Faculty members need opportunities for self-development and self-renewal, just as do engineers in industry. Methods for accomplish- ing such self-renewal include participation in research, industrial con- sulting, sabbatical leaves, and summer jobs in industry.