Posted by: bluesyemre | January 29, 2021

Faculty Perceptions of Research Assessment at Virginia Tech

In the spring of 2019, survey research was conducted at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), a large, public, Carnegie-classified R1 institution in southwest Virginia, to determine faculty perceptions of research assessment as well as how and why they use researcher profiles and research impact indicators. The Faculty Senate Research Assessment Committee (FSRAC) reported the quantitative and qualitative results to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to demonstrate the need for systemic, political, and cultural change regarding how faculty are evaluated and rewarded at the university for their research and creative projects. The survey research and subsequent report started a gradual process to move the university to a more responsible, holistic, and inclusive research assessment environment. Key results from the survey, completed by close to 500 faculty from across the university, include: a.) the most frequently used researcher profile systems and the primary ways they are used (e.g., profiles are used most frequently for showcasing work, with results indicating that faculty prefer to use a combination of systems for this purpose); b.) the primary reasons faculty use certain research impact indicators (e.g., number of publications is frequently used but much more likely to be used for institutional reasons than personal or professional reasons); c.) faculty feel that research assessment is most fair at the department level and least fair at the university level; and d.) faculty do not feel positively towards their research being assessed for the allocation of university funding.

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