Trachtenberg: Does it take all kinds?

Former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg states that GW and other universities, when hiring,  should look at more than whether or not a potential faculty member has a terminal degree.

GW has and deserves a top-notch faculty with superb academic credentials and, frequently, experience in the professional realm that few schools can match.

But when seeking faculty, we need to leaven the academic bread more than we currently do, and more than most institutions do.

At GW, faculty perform research, they seek knowledge and they provide services. But that isn’t all they do. Mostly, they teach. We stimulate the transfer of knowledge from generation to generation. By our example, students learn discipline and character and the ability to inspire loyal service.

Faculty at most institutions prefer to hire people like themselves – people with what are known as “terminal degrees” in their discipline, most often a doctorate of one sort or another. Practitioners are often regarded as second-class citizens, no matter how sparkling their achievements or how exciting their teaching.

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