22 SES 05 C, Academics in Academia
The academic mission of the university includes a number of activity spheres. These activities might be improved in order to ensure the continuity of teaching and research (Brinley, 2012). Teaching at university covers the traditional mission(Howell & Karimbux, 2004). Thus, one of a researcher’s missions at the university is to provide teaching (Feldner, 2006). However, teaching in university is seen as the mission being relevant to political decisions within the education (Joiner et al., 2008). Education and training of intellectuals are singled out as the component of the teaching mission at the university (Keyser, 2004).
Researchers in universities carry out another mission, which refers to scientific research performance. Performance of research in university needs stability and long-term planning, but the results of the investigations shall not be “closed” only within the university (Rabow et al., 2009). It should therefore be ensured through the international dissemination of research results, which is related to the availability of research findings to scientific communities and the society (Pohoryles, 2002). Quality of research results and its dissemination inspire the third mission of a researcher in university - cooperation with the society by providing it with educational and research services.
Mission statements of the university reflect the organizational culture and its ideology, and researchers are broadcasting this culture to their closer or further environments (Feldner, 2006). Through such transmission of university culture a researcher can convey the uniqueness and diversity of the academic institution (Morphew & Hartley, 2006) and researcher’s existence and activities at the university reflects the institutional mission (Feldner, 2006). Acting as a member of the academic community, following the mission formulated by the university, a researcher carries out the community developer’s mission (Bart et al., 2001).
Personal responsibilities defining the pedagogic, didactic, and research activities are presented in job descriptions of the university though these documents do not focus attention on a researcher’s mission. This phenomenon is also studied exceptionally rarely in educational and other researcher areas or spheres. In recent years the scientific literature refers to several authors who have focused the attention on universities and their personal mission analysis of academic staff.
With today's emphasis on obtaining funding, the main focus of universities refers to achieving "the high research ratings" due to research publications in the premier league journals. This is not a negative objective, but in the working process a researcher receives scant attention despite perceived and performed mission inside and outside the university. The extensive training and gained experience should help to fit a researcher’s mission outside the mainstream research. Researcher’s mission in the society should be emphasized, as well as his/her mission should be therefore related to interpretation of evidence and bringing perspective, particularly where there is a body of evidence pointing in a different direction (Elves, 2013). It would be of benefit if the concepts such as a researcher’s mission could be applied more widely for policy-making strategies in higher education, PhD’s training and meaningful research execution in general.
The aim of the study was to describe the researcher’s mission in higher education generally and the university specifically.
The research questions were the following: What is the researcher’s mission in higher education? How the researcher’s mission could be defined in higher education referring to autonomy or interdependence? What activities are attributed to the mission of the researcher in higher education?
1. Bart, C. K., Bontis, N., Taggar, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. Management Decision, 39(1), 19 – 35. 2. Bloor, M., Wood, F. (2006). Keywords in Qualitative Methods: a Vocabulary of Research Concepts. London: SAGE Publications. 3. Brinley, F. (2012). Surviving to Thriving: Advancing the Institutional Mission. Journal of Library Administration, 52(1), 94-107. 4. Elves, M. W. (2013). What is the scientist's role in society and how do we teach it? Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/nov/04/science-in-society-policy-research (Retrieved on 2015-05-04). 5. Feldner, S. B. (2006). Living Our Mission: A Study of University Mission Building. Communication Studies, 57 (1), 67-85. 6. Graneheim, U. H., Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 105-112. 7. Guthrie, J., Yongvanich, K., Ricceri, F. (2004). Using content analysis as a research method to inquire into intellectual capital reporting, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 5(2), 282-293. 8. Howell, T. H., Karimbux, N. Y. (2004). Academy: Strengthening the Educational Mission in Academic Health Centers. Journal of Dental Education, 68(8), 845-850. 9. Hsieh, H. F., Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. 10. Joiner, K. J., Libecap, A., Cress, A. E., Wormsley, S., Germain, P. S., Berg, R., Malan, P. (2008). Supporting the Academic Mission in an Era of Constrained Resources: Approaches at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Academic Medicine, 83(9), 837-844. 11. Keyser, M. W. (2004). The academic mission and copyright law: are these values in conflict? escolarShare@drake, Available at: http://escholarshare.drake.edu/handle/2092/250 (Retrieved on 2015-07-10). 12. Krippendorff, K., Bock, M.A. (2008). The Content Analysis Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 13. Kylmä, J., Juvakka, T. (2007). Hope in parents of adolescents with cancer – factors endangering and engendering parental hope. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 11(3), 262-271. 14. Morphew, C. C., Hartley, M. (2006). Mission Statements: A Thematic Analysis of Rhetoric Across International Type. Journal of Higher Education, 77(3), 456-471. 15. Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. London: Sage Publications Ltd. 16. Pohoryles, R. J. (2002). The European Research Area: Bureaucratic Vision versus Academic Mission? Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 15(4), 389-395. 17. Rabow, M. W., Wrubel, J., Remen, R. N. (2009). Promise of Professionalism: Personal Mission Statements Among a National Cohort of Medical Students. Annals of Family Medicine, 7(4), 336-342.
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