The Academic Affairs Commitee
The key responsibility for Academic Affairs Committee was to determine the nature of the gold standard at SMU. Were we going to be twenty-two carat gold or eighteen carat gold or...? Every university is gold, but there’s gold and there’s gold. And I had seen in another institution how easy it is to for the standards to drift down, rather than to build up, and to meet an aspiration that you set. So that we would not offer tenure to people coming in straight away. There are some who warranted it who would be offered tenure. But one of the things you find with a new institution is the senior leaders of that institution seek to recruit into it. The other thing that came through—this reflects Janice’s background, I think this is one of the real contributions that she brought in the early years of the Academic Affairs Committee—was to recognise that really, there is a research-stream academic and there is an education or teaching-stream academic, adjunct or teaching or education, whatever you call it over here. But there was a research and tenure track, and if SMU was to be a research university then you needed the two tracks, which is not a common arrangement. It may have been fairly common at University of Pennsylvania, I’m not sure, but it certainly is not common in other universities because there the academic argument is well, an academic is an academic, you teach and you research, and you teach and you research, and you can’t split it out. But, in fact, you can, with honour and dignity for both sides of that equation. It’s not as though the researcher doesn’t teach and teaching is important. It’s not as though the good teacher doesn’t do research as well. It’s just that you’ve got different standards and a whole lot of other different arrangements. That’s the second thing I think that the Academic Affairs Committee delivered to SMU. We’ve had to tweak it at about Year 10 but it’s still essentially that model.