Our View: We must research what makes a great student

DKS Editors

When being hired as a Kent State professor, there is a big emphasis on research during their time at the university. To become a tenured faculty member, you must do a certain amount of research.

For those who don’t know, tenure is being protected under contract from being terminated without serious misconduct. But are Kent State professors spending too much time on research and not enough time on their students?

It is understandable that research makes the university more prestigious and will make students’ degrees more valuable, but is all the prestige really going to matter to the students when they leave the university? If a professor is hired as a researcher rather than a teacher, then are students going to come out with the same knowledge as a person who has a teacher more concerned with teaching than research?

Some professors’ main focus is to gain tenure and remain safe from firings – and those professors sometimes put students lower on their priority list. President Lester Lefton has put a mandate on making Kent State into a research institution. But we’re a little worried this emphasis could take away from the importance of making sure students understand the information.

This is a research institution – but it’s also a learning institution, and we hope the main focus by the university’s president and other officials is on both. Students are the main financial supporters of the university and should be the first ones considered when improving the university.

Students need to be prepared to enter the workforce after leaving college. If research continues to be the primary focus of the university, sure our school will look more prestigious, but will students gain the most from their educational experience?

We hope these two important factors are both realized simultaneously by both university officials and, of course, the teachers themselves. A student is the one who truly knows who the best teachers are.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.