Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Anders Walker (St Louis), Revisiting Caron and Tomain on Promoting Scholarship:
I just finished reading Joseph Tomain and Paul Caron's 2001 article, The Associate Dean for Faculty Research Position: Encouraging and Promoting Scholarship. ... Caron and Tomain document steps that Cincinnati took early on to "provide greater institutional support" for their faculty's research efforts. These included a three-tiered workshop program, including a monthly "work-in-progress group" to discuss new projects, a weekly summer workshop to discuss work that "has advanced beyond conception," and finally a "faculty workshop series" where faculty submit actual drafts for review during the course of the academic year. If structured systematically, it seems like such a program might double not simply as a forum for faculty feedback, but an implicit writing schedule. ... Tomain and Caron also endorse a variety of methods for bringing faculty together (they even cite Matasar), including internal listservs, rotating mention of faculty accomplishments in the alumni magazine, and weekly "coffee klatch[es]." That said, the most interesting section of the article comes toward the end, where Tomain and Caron discuss incentives and rewards. "[I]t may well be," they argue, "that a set of incentives recognizes productivity, while a set of rewards recognizes quality." To incentivize scholarship, Cincinnati moved to a scaled summer stipend, or "a range of financial enhancements to their summer stipends." To reward scholarship, Cincinnati implemented two awards, a general award for scholarship "achievement" determined by the Dean, and a separate "Law Review Award," for placement in the "top sixteen law reviews."