The Yale Herald explores the tension between teaching and research in the academy, with some troubling quotes from Yale administrators in tow: "The University is committed to the advancement of knowledge," said History department Chair Jon Butler, who will assume the deanship of the Graduate School in the fall. "And the advancement of knowledge comes from scholarship—from research, as opposed to teaching..."Yale aims to be one of the premiere universities in the world and that by definition in America is a research oriented institution," Butler said, describing the limitations of an exclusively teaching institution. "Teaching can be conceived as communicating knowledge but one can only be an excellent teacher and only communicate the knowledge that we already have. To do that you don't need a university. There are many fine teaching institutions where faculty don't make especially significant contributions to original knowledge." ...The fact that Yale tends to give greater weight to research is partly due to the financial opportunities that come from original scholarship. "Since most money comes with research, [money] tends to be associated with research," said Professor J. M. McBride, director of undergraduate studies in the chemistry department. George Hall, associate professor of economics, also attributed the overall polarization of research-oriented academic institutions to money-related issues. "Money comes from research but research takes lots of money, so basically what ends up happening is that a research-oriented place like Yale gets richer and then does more and more research and so places heavier emphasis on research, while the opposite is true for smaller and more teaching-oriented colleges," he said. ...Indeed, it is possible that an over-emphasis on research could come at the cost of the quality of teaching. An emphasis on achievements in research—reflected in the University's hiring and tenure processes—can mean that outstanding teachers who are not great researchers are overlooked when up against brilliant researchers who are often horrible at teaching. "It's possible that [the greater emphasis on research] could decrease the incentive for people to be good teachers," Brackett said. "It makes sense that that could be a result, because if teaching isn't weighed in too much then people aren't going to care as much. I think that's crazy, personally."


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