The mission statement of the Carson College speaks about creating insight, value, and opportunity though the power of our community. The first thing that I think about when I hear the term “community” is local public school systems and the impact that our K-12 teachers have on our future.
Great teachers contribute to great communities. At the college level, our pipeline of future professors lies in our Ph.D. programs. Universities rely on other universities to supply them with new college teachers. I’m proud that the Carson College plays a key role in that system by sending about ten new professors into the workforce every fall.
While university rivalries play out on the sports field, in attracting great students, and sometimes in the research lab, more often than not universities rely much more on cooperation than competition. The vast majority of research papers are written jointly by scholars from different institutions. Researchers rely on their own research community to review articles for journals, conduct research conferences, and jointly determine the state-of-the-art in business education. “Research for one” doesn’t help anyone. We need each other to fund, evaluate, and disseminate the knowledge that we create.
In the Carson College, we try to immerse our Ph.D. students in their academic community as early as possible by sending them to conferences to present papers, network, and attend research and teaching sessions. I attended the annual conference of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). A record 7,200 scholars descended on Seattle from around the world to share the knowledge they have created with their community and to learn from others. The career fair represents a crucial element of the conference. Over 100 schools and corporations have interview tables, and several hundred graduating Ph.D. students eagerly seek out these positions. Three of our own graduating students were involved in the melee, and several of our faculty interviewed candidates from other schools. Sometimes, it seems like a speed-dating event, but when all is said and done, students receive great opportunities to begin their academic careers, which will ultimately impact thousands of future college students.
Carson Ph.D. students join several communities during their journey. They begin with their classmates who help them survive the five-year struggle. As they start to work on research, they build their own community of coauthors that will ultimately lead to journal publications. They enter the broader research community in their field through conferences and other activities. After becoming a professor, they join their new university community and begin to contribute to society by educating the future workforce and producing knowledge that adds insight, value, and opportunity to their region and the world.
The social nature of academia represents the epitome of community.
Ph.D. Program Director