Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Defining Strong Departments
Geology Corner at Stanford University. Photo by Carol Ormand.

Defining Strong Departments

Many researchers have studied what makes a department "strong." If you want your department to thrive in the coming decades, the resources and references below will point you in the right direction.

Characteristics of Thriving Departments

This list of characteristics was developed by participants at the 2005 Workshop Developing Pathways to Strong Departments for the Future. The letter to geoscience department heads and chairs, by the same workshop participants, also outlines some critical strategies for building strong departments.

Characterizing Strong Geoscience Departments: Results of a National Survey

Read the results of a 2005 survey conducted by Randall Richardson and Susan Beck, of the University of Arizona, which asked departments about their health and success. These results are also summarized in Richardson and Ormand's article in Eos (July, 2008), available via Ormand's publication list.

Threats and Opportunities at Research Universities

Read the results of a 2003-04 survey conducted by Randall Richardson and Susan Beck, asking department heads at research universities to comment on the challenges, threats and opportunities they felt they faced in the next 3-5 years.

Insights from Other Disciplines

Other disciplines have insights to offer on what it means and what it takes to be a "strong" or "thriving" department. The physics, mathematics and biology communities are currently wrestling with these issues too.

References and Additional Readings

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