Costs and Benefits of the Academic Review Process

Costs and Benefits of the Academic Review Process

In this blog I want to present my reflections as a faculty and dissertation chair on the Academic Review (AR) Process that launched within the School of Advanced Studies last month.

Participating faculty may be wondering “What’s in it for me?” so I want to present my views on the costs and benefits arising from AR in this post. In your responses to my blog, I would like to read your own thoughtful reflections on the costs and benefits of AR.

I will address the costs first simply because I see that list as small compared to the benefits.

The Costs of Participating in Academic Review

  1. Completing the first AR will take some time to complete of course but the time to complete the AR submittal is really minimal in the grand scheme of things. It is like filling out an application form for a new job. All I do is fill my data in that company’s application format for a chance at new opportunity. Additionally, it seems that the bulk of information entered is needed only once and that future versions require only minor updates.
  2. AR will increase the need to publish or present. Some of you may be thinking, “This is a new burden I have to take on and I am already very busy with my other non-UOPX job.” Or perhaps: “UOPX is not the only work I do and research is not my priority.” This assertion may be correct if research is viewed in isolation. First, SAS encourages collaborative research which makes the research process more manageable and reduces the burden on individual contributors. Second, research informs and improves our teaching. Third and most importantly, research guides good practices in the real world. Thus, research when not viewed in isolation cuts across everything we do. I will cover this more in the benefits section.

The Benefits of Participating in Academic Review

Below is an in-depth and thoughtful reflection of the many benefits I gain in the research process steps, the first of which is the AR which directs me to start the journey of life-long scholarship. 

In addition to the many specific “educational and cognitive” benefits listed in the attached Table, I’ve listed below several other social, emotional and calming features that emanate from the spirit of collaborative research. These benefits are direct and indirect results of the AR Requirements. As a result, AR may:

  1. Guide faculty to join a community of researchers who would spur thinking and action in research.
  2. Spur a realistic self-assessment through well-intentioned critique by experts who are accomplished and willing to help and collaborate with faculty.
  3. Serve as a keyhole that opens the doors to extensive resources within and also outside of University of Phoenix to conduct your research.
  4. Facilitate an ongoing dialogue with research chairs and their center members leading to collaborative research projects that can leverage in-house competences within University of Phoenix.
  5. Bridge what individual research faculty want to accomplish in research/scholarship through internal collaboration and opportunity, without pressure from outside.

AR is directly aligned with UOPX mission and values and makes research faculty individually responsible to contribute to that mission and values. Having an active researcher to lead them through the dissertation process means our students are better supported and better prepared for continued success. When faculty pursue mindful professional development, and receive encouragement from the school to do so, everyone benefits.

At the end of the day, it is my firm conviction that collaborative research that generates useful new knowledge which guides practices in the real world is a win-win endeavor for all concerned. We are already known as the largest university in the world by student enrollment numbers. With AR opening the gates of collaborative research; we can do this together and make a huge research footprint on the outside world.

Thank you for reading the whole blog. I look forward to reading your candid responses below.

Comments

Barbara Fedock's picture Barbara Fedock | October 12, 2015 8:40 am MST

Ravi, 

I fully agree with your well developed argument.  You noted that "AR is directly aligned with UOPX mission and values and makes research faculty individually responsible to contribute to that mission and values. Having an active researcher to lead them through the dissertation process means our students are better supported and better prepared for continued success."  These reflective and insightful statements beautifully sum up the AR and why faculty may benefit from the process. I can only add to your summary by providing evidence of my growth. By fully engaging in my recent research projects and studies, I personally feel better equipped to prepare my doctoral students as they travel through the dissertation writing process., publishing, and being active practitioners.

Barbara Fedock 

Julia Bao's picture Julia Bao | October 12, 2015 11:59 am MST

Hi Ravi,

I recently joined this center and hope I can get some practical benefit from it. Here is my first question: Is this the first AR in this particular process format for SAS chairs? I've been with SAS ince 2009 but do not remember we have to provide materials of any kind for the annual or bi-anual evaluation.

Thanks

Julia