fredag 12 december 2014

Research faculty

Here, I will bring up issues regarding the faculty and especially the differences that are seen within each system. This includes: responsibility, employment, evaluation, promotion and expectations. As in the other posts, I will first describe each university separately and then make a final discussion and as before, the comparison and description is limited to the area of chemical engineering or the related area. With faculty means, the employed persons that are supposed to perform both teaching and research together with other task that is beneficial for the University such as being active in different committees and councils. 

UC Berkeley 

General information about research faculty

The research faculty is, in most cases, given 9 month salaries from the university but each individual has the possibility to attract funding (research funding) from agencies or companies to fill up the extra 3 months (summer). The research faculty is expected to teach one course each semester unless other duties (such as chair, dean, vice dean etc.).


The first research faculty position is assistant professor. This position allows, encourage and demand you to start your own research group directly. There are no conditions of previous courses in supervision of PhD students or experience as co-supervisor. This is the position you enter after finalizing the PhD and the post-doc sessions. Thus, it might be difficult to learn directly what is expected and how to manage the different tasks. Therefore, the CBE department has, as a rule, to assign a mentor to each new assistant professor. The role of the mentor is to explain and give advice in matters regarding, grants, proposals and teaching requirements. After about 2.5 to 3 years, there is an evaluation where the research faculty decided whether or not to recommend a tenure (the vote is either likely tenure or not likely tenure). Most will receive a not likely tenure vote which mainly indicates that the amount and quality of the research is not enough yet to reach the associate professor level. This is only a recommendation and has nothing to do with the future possibilities of reaching an associate professor position but should be viewed upon as a chance to get feedback of what is needed.  

After the full period (totally 5 years) there is a thorough evaluation regarding if the assistant professor should be appointed tenure or not. This evaluation is made in several steps and finally ends up at the vice chancellor’s table where the formal decision is made. It includes both teaching and research. At UC Berkeley they have decided to not have the tenure in competition which means that as long as you are progressing according to or better than expected there will be a tenure position. With other words, the department cannot hire an assistant professor if there is not a tenure position available in the end. Typically, the department is offering money for a couple of PhD students (4-5 years of PhD research), summer salary the first two years, together with some funds for starting a laboratory.

The level of associate professor means that you have achieved a tenured position. It is no longer possible to apply for initiation grants from the agencies and all applications are in competition with other researchers which makes it more challenging but on the other hand there has been time to test and develop ideas during the previous position which should be a solid foundation.  

After the associate professor is the full professor. To get a promotion as full professor you must be evaluated again and the focus now is on international impact. You also have to have made several commitments to the university during your years such as serving on the university senate (it is the structure that handles all academic questions such as admission of students, change in course curriculum, promotions etc.). Besides, the evaluation on teaching is also made (what contributions have been made such as text books).

At each level, there has to be an evaluation of your performance at least every 5th year but preferable it should take no longer than 3 years in between.  It should be noted that within each of these positions, there are steps (steps on a ladder) which indicate how far you have reached in that category (it is also closely connected to the salary).


University of Borås

I will use the English translation for the different positions but I will give a corresponding name in parenthesis that will match the UC Berkeley nomenclature. The first position within the faculty is the lecturer (corresponding to assistant professor). This is an appointment for 4 years and the intention is to evolve into an independent researcher and to get teaching experience. During this period, the researcher is not allowed to act as a principal supervisor for PhD students but is encouraged to act as co-supervisor. It is, however, possible to be the main applicant on applications for funds. Typically, no extra funds are associated with the position so in order to attract students in the area fund must be collected from foundations or companies. 

Next step in the academic hierarchy is the senior lecturer. This position is a tenure position and should be preceded by an open advertisement whereby the area of the position is clearly designated. This means that, the university (in reality the faculty) agrees upon a research area that would fit (and match) the current ongoing research  and to appoint the best person in that area both with respect to research abilities but also with respect to teaching abilities. Not even a senior lecturer can supervise their own PhD students, you must first undergo a second evaluation to something we call docent (in the UK it is reader) where the focus is upon research achievements (international publications) and it is not a separate position but more to be regarded as a degree which allows to you to be the principal supervisor. This evaluation also considers that mandatory courses in supervision are passed. 

Marching up in the ranks, leads to the associate professor’s level. Here, the demand for research is the same as for the docent level but additional demands are set for teaching and supervision. The final step is the full professor. To reach this level, the person must show original and innovative research at high international level.



There are some distinct differences between the two systems. One of the first things is the responsibility that is given the assistant professors at Cal. They are supposed to manage project leading; supervision, grant proposals and teaching at the same time without, in some cases, any previous experience. This will be tough. It may also strike back to the students, who will have an inexperienced supervisor where there could be all sorts of mistakes like micromanagement or impossible project ideas. Hopefully, the evaluation will consider these issues before assigning the position. In the UB system, the assistant professor can do their own research but only co-supervise PhD students, which make it a little safer for the students. However, it imposes other difficulties such as showing independence when your students have another principal supervisor. 

Another important difference is the security of employment. At Cal, there is a tenure position waiting if you perform good enough but at UB the position it is not certain that there will be a position available at the time when the assistant professor are ready for the promotion (and besides the promotion will be in competition to other applicants). In most cases, though, there is a tendency of securing a position in the area if the candidate show good capabilities but nothing is certain (in the end it depends on available funding). 

Higher up in the hierarchy, there are, in theory, the same type of evaluation for promotion and merit increase. However, a difference is that at Cal there is a continuous evaluation of the performance with regular interval (these are made for merit increase and basically determines the salary) but no such evaluation is found at UB where the salary increase will be based on the yearly communication with the nearest head.

torsdag 11 december 2014

Graduate studies

In this post, I will show how the graduate studies are different between the two universities. This involves all steps from enrollment (and demand for the enrollment) to graduation. Initially, each of the universities is discussed separately and then a final discussion is made. Not all aspects will be covered but the idea is to include the most important aspects and especially the parts where a difference was found. This means that I will not discuss so much about supervision as this is highly individual; both in terms of need for the student but also in terms of supervisor (for example new vs. experienced or few vs. many students to supervise). With other words, the differences between individuals are larger than the difference between the universities.

University of California, Berkeley

To apply to graduate (PhD) studies at UC Berkeley (Cal), the student must provide grades from their undergraduate education (even though it might not be finished), GRI score and recommendation letters (if outside the US it is also needed to provide a proof of English proficiency). The GRI is a test that is taken before the senior year in the undergraduate education and is supposed to cover everything necessary to manage graduate studies (the student who aim for master’s degree should also take this test). The application is done in the late fall or early winter. Due to the fact that the full undergraduate education (bachelors degree) is not achieved at the time of the application deadline, the GRI score and the recommendation letters are very important. The students can apply to several universities at the same time and at Cal there are open weekends, typically during February, where the research groups are presenting their work for interesting students. This is an opportunity to attract students to choose Berkeley over other universities in the final decision.
In the beginning of May, the acceptance letters are sent out from the universities and the student will have two weeks before accepting the offer. If the student has been accepted to several universities, this means that positions will be available to those who were not selected in the first round.
In August, the courses and information of the PhD program starts. This involves a more detailed description of what is expected from the student and how the process to get a research group is working. Normally the time should be around 5 years until graduation but the funding will be provided for at least 6 years without any cutbacks. The graduate students take courses the first semester and may also do GSI (stand for graduate student instructor and means that the student is involved in teaching activities). In principle, all students should do 3 semesters of GSI during their studies but exemptions are if they have funding from other sources such as NSF or similar then they are excused from the first period of GSI and can focus more on the initial courses. The students are not paid extra with their GSI but it will provide money for the tuition fees (students don’t pay tuition fees themselves but the departments/research groups have to do it). The courses taken in the first semester are courses in chemistry, transport processes and statistical mechanics, which lay a foundation for the different topics studied in chemical and biomolecular engineering. There is also a course in teaching that is taken in parallel with the other courses and the GSI.
In most of the cases there is no assignment between supervisor and student until the end of the fall semester. At Berkeley the students have to sign up for their choices by November 1st and then it becomes official in the end of November/early December. This gives an opportunity for the student to go around in the different research group to find a topic of interest and also a group and supervisor that match their interest. It should be noted, that the supervisors also make a selection of the students, which means that there has to be a mutual agreement before the assignment. If the student choose to have their work outside the CBE department (which is possible) then there should be a co-supervisor within the CBE faculty otherwise a co-supervisor is not needed.
In the beginning of the second semester is the first qualifying exam. This covers any material related to the three courses but also to the undergraduate education. Focus is to make sure that the students are able to think and analyze different problems and not so much about remember different equations and formulas. This exam is graded and if the grade is too low (grade C), then the student must first complete a master’s degree before taking the test again. Otherwise, the student have passed but it could come together with some warnings and suggestions of courses to be taken etc. to make sure that the student understand its situation.
Third semester is time for GSI again. In the fifth or sixth semester is last GSI and this is also a time for the second qualifying exam. It is almost like a defense of the thesis where the student should present his or hers work together with a plan for the remaining time. They have to show that they understand what they have done and how problems are addressed.
8th to 10th semester: this is the time where the thesis is ready. There is no open discussion about the thesis but the thesis has to be approved by a committee of research faculty before which gives time for improvements and takes away the immediate pressure on the student.   At Chemical and biomolecular engineering, the student should present their work at a research colloquia for their peers and the faculty.

University of Borås

Admission is anytime of the year and is officially decided by the board of research studies (there is a separate board in each subject, such as Resource recovery for my students, to ensure a correct judgment of the student’s abilities and credentials). There are general rules of prerequisites that must be fulfilled in order to be meeting the demand as a PhD students and this involves number of credits in the undergraduate exam and that the previous exam is in the right subject (major). It is the local funding that sets the limit of the number of students. Each student is assigned a supervisor, a co-supervisor and an examiner. They are also enrolled in the research school where the administrative issues are taken care of. The director of studies of the research school is responsible to follow up on all students every year that they are making the expected progress and if there are any problems regarding supervision. There is no tuition fee for the PhD students regardless if they are from Sweden, the EU or anywhere else.
PhD students can be enrolled in several different ways; one is as graduate students (doktorander) in which they are employed by the university during their studies which means that they will get a salary, parental benefits, retirement benefits (pension) etc. as in any other job. Depending on need from the department, the students can participate in teaching activities. This is highly encouraged and could be up to 20% of the time. The nominal time to reach a PhD is 4 years full time but with a 20% teaching (or administrative tasks) the actual time is 5 years.
Other options are that the students are enrolled on a scholarship or as industrial PhD students. Enrollment with a scholarship can only be done with external funding from private companies, foundations or foreign institutions and will only be applied to foreign students. The conditions are mainly the same for the student as the studies are concerned but there are less social benefits. The university makes sure that there is a health insurance in place for all their employees and students.  The industrial PhD students have their employment in an industry (usually at a company) and at least 50% of their time should be devoted for research. This makes a very good connection between industry and research but it takes longer time until a PhD degree is achieved.
Together with the actual research, you have to pass a number of courses (corresponding to 60 credits which equal the credits for 1 academic year). Each of the courses is examined separately and the examiner for each individual PhD student eventually decides if the course is passed or not. The research school has guidelines which courses that are mandatory.
Half way through the studies, the student are either performing a Licentiate degree or taking a half-way seminar. The licentiate degree is sometimes the end of the research studies for the student (could be the goal for an industrial PhD or as a degree if the student gets a job offer).
The final thesis can either be a monograph or a compilation thesis depending on area. In engineering, the most common is a compilation thesis. This means that you write a cover essay, which introduce the reader to the subject and contains a literature review of the area together with a description of the performed work. In combination to this, the published, accepted and prepared papers are attached in the end. As a base line, at least four papers should be included and of the included papers at least half of them should be published or accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals (international). Otherwise, there has to be external reviewers on the thesis. 3-5 months before the defense, a final seminar is held where the thesis is discussed. It should include: the student, the supervisor, the examiner and an external reviewer.
When all requirements are fulfilled, it is time for the defense. On this day, the student present their work in an open fora (open for everyone) and there is an opponent who is appointed to have a discussion with the defendant regarding choices in the thesis and clarification of covered material. Present in the room are also the evaluation committee. It consists of 3 persons (most commonly on the level of an associate professor or higher), which are not involved in the PhD work but are highly skilled in the area or part of the area. They have all read the thesis and will judge the students presentation and ability to answer questions. After the open discussion, the evaluation together with the examiner and opponent (and in most cases also the supervisor) continue with a closed discussion where eventually the evaluation committee decided whether the student should pass or not.


Admission and enrollment with focus on the University

 At Cal, the university dictates the number of PhD students each department can accept. This is based upon previous years, number of faculty and funding history and probably other factors as well. It seems to me as an inefficient process but serves as a cushion in case applications are not approved because the department is, in that case, obliged to come up with the funding for the scholarship for the student (equals to salary). It is in general more PhD project available than students, which means that not all projects will be filled (the student choose their projects). This situation must be frustrating for faculty with funding but that might end up with no student. It is a form of elitist local fittest-test in true Darwinian spirit. Who will have the right attributes to not only attract funding but also to attract students? A way to manage the project without a PhD student is to hire a post-doc, which can be done for as long as 4 years but usually only one or two years at a time. What is attractive is this cohort of PhD students that are starting at the same time and can push and support each other during their research. This will form strong bonds and at the same time give a good network. It also simplifies the initial courses because all students need to take the same courses the first semester and this gives a good fundamental baseline for further discussion, no matter where the student origin from (that is where the undergraduate diploma is achieved).
Another attraction with this system is that there is a possibility for both the student and supervisor to get acquainted before the commitment of a mutual research journey is about to start. This goes far beyond the possibility of having an on-line meeting (by video or by voice) or an interview at one specific time as the only compliment to the grades.  
A hire-by-available funds system is more flexible; you can only hire a student if there is funding available and this can be done at any specific time. However, it puts higher demands on a follow-up system (like the research schools and the director of studies). The flexible system can sometimes be less in favor for the student when it comes to courses because the courses are only given at specific times (often once a year for common courses or every second or third year for more specific courses) and it could be difficult to match them perfectly with the demand from the research.

Admission and enrollment with focus on the student

Apart from the number of students available for the faculty and the selection of project, there are more components that are different between the systems. One such system is the qualifying exams.  As mentioned earlier, the students need to take a test before they have completed their undergraduate education (GRI) which is something like the SAT but for college students. In order for the student to start research in the research group, they must also pass an individual qualifying exam. This gives the department some extra room for correcting an admission to the PhD program of a person who might not be suitable for research or at least is not suitable within the research context (that is to handle all necessary demands such as courses and not only the research part).
I might seems hard for the students to have this exam coming up so early on in their studies but I think the underlying concept is good from both sides; neither the student nor the research group is benefitted from a student that eventually end up taking a long time for their studies and produce a weak thesis. To have this early on means that there is still time for the research group to find a post-doc for their project to deliver on time and for the student to reevaluate their choice. I like the idea of having a back door in the sense that if the qualifying exam is failed, the student is directed towards one of the master’s program and it will still be possible to have a graduate degree.  It is also possible to go back to research after the master’s degree and retake the qualifying exam.
In the Swedish system, it is very difficult to remove a PhD student after the enrollment is done. Thus, the enrollment process is much more delicate (especially if there is a governmental funded project with a time limitation where the enrollment must be done through an application open process).


Personally I’d like to have a mix of the two described systems. It seems to me odd to only defend the thesis work after about half the time; research made in the more senior years is better represented by the student and thus this is the research that should be evaluated. An evaluation in-between will mainly evaluate if the student have understood the topic and the procedures together with a plan for future work. Each of these parts is very important but I miss the component of evaluating the student’s ability to react upon difficulties based on their own formulated ideas. This becomes more apparent now since the trends are that funding a student means defining projects and this leaves only a small amount of time available for own tests. However, the system with a final presentation and discussion that determines the outcome of the whole study is a source of anxiety and insecurity for the student. There is currently a discussion about how to involve the evaluation committee earlier in the process and make them preapprove the thesis before the presentation. This will then make the systems more similar between the two universities as this will be something similar as when the research committee at Cal has to approve the final thesis.

måndag 20 oktober 2014

The role of the lecturer

Here, the function of the position lecturer is discussed from the two perspectives at UC Berkeley and at U of Borås and especially the engineering education view is reflected upon. The definition and todays’ usage are a bit different but the intention with the position is quite similar. There has for a long time being discussed about the importance of lecturers and how they will be placed in research universities (I limit here the discussion to the case where there is both research and undergraduate/graduate education). A lecturer here is a person who is fully (or almost fully) devoted to teaching at the university but that may or may not have other duties outside the university. I will here focus on the persons who are fully employed by the university mainly because in general it is difficult to have a long term commitment with people working part-time with short-term contracts if they should be in a leading position for developing new courses or programs. There is a special need for those as well but it should be in more special cases such as a special course, a period where there is a lack of other staff, and to cover sudden increases in the work load.

The discussion will cover the purpose of the lecturer as such but also its usefulness and validity in the main courses of the program. There is a difference in the undergraduate education as noticed in an earlier blog post where UC Berkeley use 4 years undergraduate program and U of Borås only uses 3 (which is in line with the Bologna process) but both system face nevertheless the same type of fundamental structure regarding core courses in the main subject and who is eligible of its education and teaching. To make it comparable I use the word major to define the program content whether it is in the US or in Sweden.

Situation today

Univeristy of Borås, which is a university that has been heavily depending on the undergraduate education but more and more goes into research, several different teaching positions are used. The main teaching is performed by either lecturers or adjuncts. A lecturer has in general a doctoral degree and fulfills some other requirement as well regarding courses in pedagogy etc. It is possible to weigh in working experience and especially development and creation are emphasized. The adjuct position reflects a person without a PhD degree but with a working experience from outside the university (and as a general rule have at least a master’s degree). Both positions are mainly focusing on teaching but the lecturer position may have time devoted for research or professional development. Specifically, if a lecturer has reached the rank of docent (docent degree), more research is expected. Both the lecturers and adjunct positions are tenure positions in the sense that they are long-term contracts (permanent employment). In addition to the adjucts and lecturers is the research faculty with the professors (associate or full professors) that are included in teaching. General a professor has 50% teaching in the employment which also includes supervision of students. 

At UC Berkeley, the lecturer position is mainly used for people from industry with a PhD degree that is teaching on the undergraduate level to bring in the industrial perspective on the education. They are in general persons with long experience in industry and they only work part-time as teachers and are only contracted for one semester at a time. At the chemical engineering department, there are also a couple of lecturers which are full time employed and they have special assignments necessary for the undergraduate education. However, it is in a transition period whether these positions should merge into tenure (long-lasting) positions or not. The main teaching has been performed by the research faculty but a declining number of these positions in combination with a steady increase in number of students have led to the change and the introduction of more lecturers. The research faculty generally has one course every semester which means that they are involved in teaching all year around for the academic year (the courses are semester based in length).

Purpose of education

First; often one intends to put the student in focus in all discussion. This is fine in the sense of that the student is the product but it has to be taken at a higher level. The focus should above all be “Why do we educate the students?” and “What purpose should they fulfill?”. We have to make sure that every student that comes in will get the best possible education but that education should fill a purpose and it is a multipurpose education we have. It is multipurpose in the sense that we need to cover many needs; it is the need of trade and industry; it is the need for research to develop the coming products/processes; it is the need for universities to teach new students and to perform research; it is the need for the society to have people who can contribute (e.g. to tax, to welfare, to industry, to university, to joy and to development);  and it is the need for the student who want to get a good future (interesting job, well paid or whatever reason they have).

Each of these purposes has their own list of things the student should be able to do after graduation and it is not possible to meet them all at once. What we can do is to make sure that the student who is graduating can assimilate necessary knowledge in a short time and then become productive at whatever area he or she chooses. However, the more of the specific knowledge needed for a particular branch that is incorporated in the product (i.e. the student) the better it is for those receivers in that area (it is not uncommon that there is a need in industry to hire new staff but there is just not time to train them which leads to that the company may be short-staffed for longer time than necessary). However, it is not the role of the university to target each and one of all industries (who knows what the need might be tomorrow if a new company gets started) but we have to make sure that the time needed before the new employed is useful is as short as possible regardless of where they end up and that they are attractive on the market. 

Following this strategy it is possible to set up a couple of rules for the undergraduate teaching and then see if they are consistent with the lecturer position (this is by no means a full coverage but serves its purpose in the following discussion):

1)      Students should have a necessary base knowledge in matters important to society (solved by breadth courses on a general level)
2)      Students should have base knowledge in matters important to industry (core courses in each major)
3)      Students should have base knowledge in matters important to research (core and elective courses)
4)      Students should have knowledge in matters important for their own growth (all courses)
5)      Students should know how to get new information
6)      Students should know how to be critical and how to judge information   (only possible when the other rules are fulfilled)

Based on these rules, I cannot see a major problem of having dedicated teachers providing the base knowledge in the core courses. In fact, I can see a number of positive effects with this approach especially since the number of faculty are decreasing.  We really should use our researchers in smaller classes where it is possible to better emphasis critical thinking and discussion about the meaning of the different subjects. This will be important for the students and will definitely mark that the research faculty is highly involved in the growth and progress of the students. This will be an edge of the education and something I find necessary in the harder competition about the best students among the universities. It is in line with the question of how to motivate students to campus when there are so good on-line opportunities (such as regular courses or MOOC).


My view upon full using lecturers

I support the idea of having a couple of professors/lecturers fully dedicated to teaching:

1)      A person fully dedicated to teaching will easier be aware of what is happening in this particular area (education) and can thus act as a bridge between this discipline and the other research faculty
2)      Most of the undergraduate teaching does not demand that you are at the research front in fact the model used today let researchers teach courses which could be far away from their own research area so the connection is still very weak.
3)      You will get more stability and can follow the course impact during several years. Therefore it is easier to plan following courses and to implement parts in the earlier courses where the whole curriculum is in focus.
This will imply for most of the cases that it will be on the core courses because:
1)      They are the most general courses
2)      If there are to be a sustainable and continuous course development there has to be a longer commitment to the course
3)      I assume that most of the elective courses are derived based upon the research interest at the faculty and they should be closer to the research front


Important issues

1)      Do not move the power of the course curriculum and overall course content from the research faculty. There must be an “application” to do any major changes or a number of minor changes to the faculty committee responsible for the chemical engineering program and this must be approved before implemented. Note that this does not impact the style of teaching and how the individual lectures are structured etc. but it controls the overall content in the course. On a higher level this is evaluated by some evaluation authority within each discipline but these evaluations are not done so frequently and leave plenty of room for individual interpretations.
2)      Make sure that there is a link between the research faculty and their view of what the student should know in each area and the lecturer who is forming the foundation of that vision. This could for example be thermodynamics, differential equations, unit operations, mathematical modeling etc.
3)      Chemical engineering is a profession education and we need to keep the strong connection to the profession. This implies a good contact with people working outside the university. I think there is a very good opportunity for the process design course where it is possible to have teachers with industrial experience that is responsible for the course. If it is not possible to engage industrial experienced people to take a course responsibility at least it should be possible to have them coming for a couple of lectures and to be part of the oral review and presentations. Other interactions are study visits or company fares (possible on the university campus).

Transition of the lecturers as of today

The way lecturer mainly are used today is to: cover up for the teaching which would be difficult to perform otherwise; deliberate research faculty to have more research oriented and elective courses which are beneficial for the students and where the faculty professor (tenure/ladder etc.) can make a real contribution and have more peer-to-peer interaction; and finally to bring in competence not easily found among the university teachers (the trade and industrial aspects). In Sweden, the position is either a part of the academic ladder or a position dedicated for teaching. The amount of teaching is depending on other assignments or possibilities of attracting funds for research.

Remember why these people are hired. Today many of these lecturers (or adjuncts) are present because they have experience from industry and thereby bring in this perspective. However, if they are at the university for an extended period their information becomes more and more outdated and the question is if they provide the wanted competence initially looked for. 

This picture must thus be changed with the implementation of tenure lecturers and the transition will be noticeable. Initially, there will be a need for national (or international?) advertising of lecturers to these positions which will be a good window of promoting this idea of the educational system and also a good way to really attract the persons needed for these positions.

The lecturer would not be on short-term contracts but rather on a stable tenure position. I envisage that with full time teaching I include time for course preparation and course development as well as being in the front line of what is going on in the educational area from a research perspective. However, I think there is another twist that must be considered. What kind of career is this position associated with? To me, I think it should be possible to do a similar career as the ladder ranked professors (but it takes longer time to achieve the necessary progress in the research area) by including a small portion of the lecturers’ appointment as dedicated to be involved in one of the research groups (see figure). It will not be enough to lead an own research group but still enough to be involved in supervision of graduate students and own research projects (maybe more heavily pronounced in times outside the academic year). To get a good usage of the time and resources I firmly believe that there must be incorporation in existing research groups (but with an attractive offer to these groups regarding financing so they will be view as an asset already from start).

Figure 1. Transition of the situation today to the challenges of tomorrow. Note that the amount of teaching represented by the green area is equal in the two cases. In this particular example, 6 part-time lecturers is replaced by 3 full time-lecturers.


The question of how to incorporate the lecturers will be a discussion mainly for the UC Berkeley case because at U of Borås the positons are already in place since long. The lecturer must be responsible to present the courses and the idea behind larger changes to the research faculty (or the portion of those who are responsible for the development of the chemical engineering program). It is important that in each of the stages that there is a discussion between the content in the core courses, they learning outcomes and an evaluation of the student’s ability to master the senior elective courses. This involves a direct link between the lecturer and the research faculty in the elective courses where the program board could serve as a mediator to ensure that all qualities are included and where they would best fit in.

In the same manner, there must be an increased exchange with the industry (possible this could be done via the alumni association) where the demands (wishes) are explained and then evaluated and hopefully incorporated. I see this as more possible to perform if there are full time lecturers than with the situation existing today.



It is obvious that regardless of the US or the Swedish system, there is a need for lecturers at higher academic level. They could be more or less involved in research but their main emphasis is in teaching and education. The system existing in Sweden (at University of Borås) emphasizes the necessity of performing teaching  by using the same name for the faculty dedicated for a research career as well as for the faculty devoted for full time teaching. Problem here is that it can give mixed signals about the position and what the intention with the position is. It is definitely a heritage of the origin of the university where teaching has been in the front line for a long time but recently more emphasis is made into research. As a function of this history, there has been a need for stable position of the lecturers at the university with a number of different options for motivate the staff to stay and perform their duty. On the other hand, UC Berkeley have its main focus on research but at the same time the necessity of performing excellent undergraduate teaching is prominent. In both system, there is a place and a need for persons devoted for teaching with challenges of how to make the positions incorporated into the current structure and with development possibilities for the employers.