TITLE

Evaluating the Impact of Research Produced by a Mission-Directed Emergent University

AUTHOR(S)
Ivey, Paul W.; Oliver, Gossett; Henry, Martin
PUB. DATE
September 2014
SOURCE
Journal of Research Administration;Fall2014, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p73
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) is quite young, having been granted university status in 1995, a mere 19 years ago. Nevertheless, UTech is acutely aware that it is research that sets a university apart from other post-secondary institutions. Driven by this awareness, it has developed, articulated, and implemented a coherent research agenda and established a supporting research management ecosystem. In this paper we argue that the two main traditional metrics - peer-reviewed publications and citations - which are used in evaluating research productivity and impact, respectively, of a university, while useful, are not sufficient. UTech's mission, like that of many other similar institutions, includes "service to our communities" and its research focus is on "interdisciplinary and applied research relevant to (national) economic and societal problems." By adopting a reflective inquiry method, we cite two examples of how research by UTech staff members has, in one case, had positive impacts on the university's proximate stakeholders, and in another case has the potential to generate significant impact on a particular sub-sector of the economy. We use the sense-making gleaned from these examples to propose an expanded schema of metrics for evaluating research impact. The schema we are proposing is one that includes "Fidelity-to-Mission (FTM)." The inclusion of FTM is based on the premise that an emergent university's first obligation, especially in resource-deficient contexts, must be to address through its research the needs of those it purports to serve, as expressed in its mission statement. Therefore, the extent to which it does so in objectively verifiable ways is a legitimate metric worthy of recognition.
ACCESSION #
110547920

 

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