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Lab Losses & Productivity

Deb Cook dacook at mediaone.net
Sat Feb 17 09:44:00 EST 2001

I know someone at another university who may be faced with losing the research lab or moving back to the crappy building because of what is poorly described as a lack of productivity.  This faculty member does not lack for students, although a couple are nearing degree completion, or publications in some stage of acceptance and revision, but that old nasty problem -- lack of extramural funding.  

It's a sad commentary that an Associate Professor with 15 years in the academy could be considered washed up and valueless at age 45 as far as research is concerned.  We all have "deadwood colleagues" in various stages of decomposition.  This person is not "deadwood" and would never become deadwood.  This really bothers me because it's becoming evident that the some of the "rising star" young colleagues can't teach and can't mentor graduate students.  But they can get grant money.  Maybe it's natural selection.  Maybe it's being shoehorned into that corporate model I mentioned earlier.  

I guess after all the focus on tenure, which is really a short term goal, that we just don't want to think about losing labs in the long term.

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