Managing the Research University

Managing the Research University

Managing the Research University

Managing the Research University

Synopsis

In recent years, the federal government and private industry have entrusted universities to manage a considerable portion of their research portfolio. Many, but certainly not all, university research administrators come from the faculty ranks, and many have little or no formal training in thisrole. More often than not, they learn the profession "on the job." Some facets of research administration simply require either "common sense" or personal experience as a research-active faculty member. However, there are many other aspects that benefit from formal training. These include the historical and legal background behind many institutional and federalpolicies and regulations. Managing the Research University aims to fill that void by providing a comprehensive background and discussion of the issues and challenges of managing a university's research enterprise. It provides a thorough background to research administration, covering all of the mainissues confronting academic research administrators.

Excerpt

In recent years, the federal government and private industry have entrusted universities to conduct an increasingly growing portion of their research portfolio. Research expenditures at U.S. universities and colleges have doubled within the past ten years — from $27 billion in 1999 to $55 billion in 2009. Furthermore, these amounts are expected to increase at a comparable pace into the foreseeable future. The 2007 congressionally commissioned report on American competitiveness, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, calls for increased federal support of basic research in the nation’s universities. Academic research has become an engine of economic development as well. In 2008, academic inventions in medicine, plant genetics, and alternative energy generated $2.3 billion in licensing revenue and spawned 543 new companies.

The magnitude and importance of the academic research economic enterprise call for knowledgeable, responsible management — for strong academic research leadership. Many, but certainly not all, university research administrators come from the faculty ranks, and many have had little or no formal training in this role. More often than not, they learn the profession “on the job.” I’m no different. As a young associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I stumbled into research administration without any meaningful idea about the position. Now, after thirty-six years as a faculty member, and twenty-one of those years as a research administrator at one level or another at three very different research universities, I have learned the job and want to share this knowledge with the next generation of academic research administrators.

Some facets of research administration require either simply common sense or personal experience as a research-active faculty member. However, there are many other aspects that benefit from formal training. These include the historical and legal backgrounds of many institutional and federal policies and regulations. Managing the Research University aims to fill that void by providing a comprehensive . . .

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