Scientists At Four-Year Colleges Strive For Research Quality

Researchers who choose to conduct their careers at four-year liberal arts colleges maintain that it's entirely possible for them to be productive scientists, contrary to popular belief. But to be productive they must overcome many obstacles, including heavy teaching loads, the absence of graduate students and postdocs, difficulty in being competitive in obtaining grant support, and lack of daily contact with colleagues in closely related fields. Additionally, they often must suffer the slings a

Robert Finn
Oct 26, 1997

Researchers who choose to conduct their careers at four-year liberal arts colleges maintain that it's entirely possible for them to be productive scientists, contrary to popular belief. But to be productive they must overcome many obstacles, including heavy teaching loads, the absence of graduate students and postdocs, difficulty in being competitive in obtaining grant support, and lack of daily contact with colleagues in closely related fields. Additionally, they often must suffer the slings and arrows of their colleagues at major research institutions, some of whom regard a decision to teach at a four-year college as an admission of failure.


MISSION: David DeHeer of Calvin College notes that a primary objective of a liberal arts school is to train students.
And they must recognize that, in the words of David DeHeer, a professor of biology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., "we cannot do the same kind of research that...

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