This chapter differs somewhat from previous ones in that it doesn’t deal with an item that appears on most teaching rating forms. Yet it can affect how a junior faculty member is perceived as a teacher. Those who encourage and direct student research tend to be perceived by chairpersons, deans, members of promotion and tenure committees and others who make tenure decisions as being more dedicated to teaching than those who don’t. At a recent promotion and tenure committee meeting in which I participated, for example, most of the members considered the dedication of a candidate to teaching doubtful until it was pointed out that she was the only one in her department who both encouraged students to do and directed masters theses. A number of issues will be dealt with in this chapter that are relevant to encouraging and/or facilitating student research.
There are a number of reasons why encouraging and facilitating student research may enable you to meet your responsibilities to your students and department more successfully and enhance your rewards from teaching. Some of the more important of these are considered in this section. The order in which they’re dealt with isn’t intended to be significant.
While few of your undergraduate students will probably be scholars and do publishable research, all of them will be required almost every day to