28 - Academic Administration (w/ Eric J. Barron!)
28. Academic Administration
A common way to learn is seek higher education, which today is often provided by universities across the world. Most learn to thank their professors, teachers, and mentors, but it may be unclear how important it is to have a dedicated administration at those same educational institutions. Today, we’ll discuss a journey from a bachelor degree to being a university president. Let’s learn to be scientifically conversational.
General Learning Concepts
1) President Barron’s history in academic sciences:
a. Education in Geology and Oceanography: Bachelor of Science in Geology from Florida State University (1973), a Master of Science in Oceanography from the University of Miami (1976), and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami in Oceanography (1980)
b. Science at the National Center for Atmospheric Research: Post-doctoral research fellow in 1980 in Boulder, Colorado, before becoming a scientist 1/2 from ’81 - ‘85
c. Professorship in Geosciences: Barron served various positions at PSU from ’86 – ’06 including professor of geosciences, director of the Earth System Science Center, director of the EMS Environmental Institute and dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
1. How did Geology and Oceanography influence you to begin your academic journey? How does Geology contribute to your interest in oceanography and later interest in the atmospheric sciences?
2. How did you enjoy the change from academia to a government-operated research lab in Colorado?
2) President Barron’s history in administration:
a. PSU Administration: Barron served various positions at PSU from ’86 – ’06 including professor of geosciences, director of the Earth System Science Center, director of the EMS Environmental Institute and dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
b. Jackson (UTexas, Austin) Administration: Barron acted as a dean for the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin from ’06-’08.
c. Administration for the National Center for Atmospheric Research: Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research
d. Presidency at Florida State and Pennsylvania State Universities: ’10 – ’14 at the Florida State University and since then at PSU.
1. How does an interest in administration evolve from a professorship or a research scientist position? As you focused more on administration, did you see additional opportunity afforded by “additionally administrative, less academic” positions?
2. What are the differences in leading a university versus leading a governmental research group?
3) Additional questions:
a. Do you think your scientific upbringing has helped you in the position you currently occupy? Is there anything to a more “quantitative rather than qualitative” strategy?
b. Is there anything you miss from your former positions?
c. When you oversee so many colleges with so many undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist degree programs, how do you properly bring balance to representing those things at the institution? How much of this is your work versus how much do you need to rely on your community?
d. Do you still read scientific publications from topics you used to study / be interested in?