Dear friends:

At many universities, 20 percent of a professor’s job is formally allocated to service activities. In other words, professors should be working the equivalent of one full day per week providing service for their department, college, university, and profession. Faculty perform many functions that keep the university moving forward, such as serving on hiring committees, curriculum committees, and student conduct committees.

At the professional level, the peer review process for getting research published only works because other researchers across the world volunteer their time to perform such reviews. Faculty sometimes also get involved with professional conference activities, and senior faculty may be invited to act as an external reviewer for another faculty member’s tenure and promotion case at another university.

We expose our Carson College PhD students to several service opportunities. In fact, our Research and Professional Development course devotes sessions to “The Service of Service,” “Paper Reviews,” and “Being a Good College Citizen.” We have also required students to provide service by assisting with the college’s annual Business Plan Competition or helping with the WSU graduation ceremony.

Current students have performed university service in a number of ways. Mycah Harrold created an undergraduate research assistant program in conjunction with the Center for Behavioral Business Research (CBBR). COVID-19 also presented the opportunity for her to create and run a virtual CBBR lab, as well as coordinate the Virtual Northwest Marketing Symposium for 50 West Coast scholars.

Meanwhile, Greg Denton helped undergraduate students receive their certification in hospitality industry analytics. Nasir Haghighibardineh has been serving both as a senator for the WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) and as president of the Iranian Students Association at WSU. Demi Deng has served as a GPSA senator as well.

Students have also reviewed papers submitted to academic journals or conferences, including Denton, Haghighibardineh, Shizhen Jia, and Kesha Wu. Others have either chaired sessions or led discussions of papers at professional meetings, including Sheng Bi, Haghighibardineh, Jia, and Yoonsoo Nam. Deng has assisted a WSU professor with journal editorial coordination.

More and more universities encourage and even reward community service. First-year student Oluseyi Elliott has volunteered as a high school teacher in Nigeria in the past. And two of my former students, Sadegh Kazemi and Aysajan Eziz, helped me coach fifth grade soccer here in Pullman while they were earning their degrees.

Service activities represent a crucial element of our jobs as professors. Our PhD students leave here well prepared to tackle those duties.

Chuck Munson,
PhD Program Director