Teaching load

The more successful you are as a researcher, the less of a teaching load you get. I have seen this premise take place so many times and I understand why it is the case at tier-one research institutions (R1) including MSU. Those who are leading the field teach maybe a class per semester. And they teach a graduate seminar. Adjuncts, fixed-term faculty, and graduate students teach a bulk of undergraduate classes.

I have explained this situation to students, parents, and many others. I have equated to a situation in which a patient with a flu goes to a research lab trying to be cured. R1 institutions are primarily research institutions. Probably there are better teachers at a smaller institutions.

But as I try to make it as a researcher at an R1 institution, I nonetheless feel strongly about offering my students high quality educational opportunities. People talk about teaching evaluations, classroom observations, etc. But I also feel publication, grants, etc are getting far more attention and prestige. “I only teach a class a semester,” is uttered almost as evidence of success. Probably graduate students can do just find teaching undergraduates. But there must be some values for those 18-22 year-olds in learning from the world’s leading scholars.

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