Conclusions: Common Themes
Go back to the introduction to this survey.
This survey confirms that not all geoscience departments are identical in their needs and issues. However, even with the wide range of departments involved, there were a large number of issues common among many departments. For example:
- Many departments see opportunities in large, community-wide initiatives such as Earthscope, and in interdisciplinary science, in the next 3-5 years.
- Most departments felt that the biggest threat in the next 3-5 years was declining resources, and the associated problems (faculty retention, lab support, etc.).
- For departments facing faculty retention issues, many recognized the benefit of pre-emptive measures. Responding to outside offers, many found benefit of strong, prompt counter offers, and the growing need to address spousal/partner job issues.
- In terms of recruiting faculty, the strategy most commonly cited was substantial start-up packages.
- For both graduate and undergraduate students, recruitment was much more of an issue than retention. Recruitment strategies were quite variable, but involved lots of personal contact.
- The vast majority of departments felt it was important to integrate, or balance, research and education. The most commonly cited example was undergraduate research opportunities.
- Planning was seen as overwhelming valuable, but written comments carry an undertone of frustration with planning in a rapidly varying environment. Planning was found most useful for faculty hiring plans and curriculum reform/revision.