Foray into turbine business part of WCU’s mission, college says

Is going into business with a Brazilian company within the mission of Western Carolina University? Dean Robert McMahan says so, and he bases that decision on the university’s adoption of the Boyer model.

WCU formally adopted this new tenure model, which is based on a book by Ernest L. Boyer titled, “Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professorate.”

In his influential 1997 work, Boyer proposed scholarship should include discovery, integration, application and teaching. All four areas should be rewarded when considering tenure for professors, he argued.

The Boyer model, McMahan said, allows — even encourages — an “externally engaged university.”  

“It represents a broadening of the traditional university definition of scholarship to include application,” he said. “It is intended to broaden the scope.”

This means that professors seeking tenure can demonstrate other accomplishments besides the traditional route of being published in academic journals.

“Application” allows for service to the community. It is within this context that WCU leaders believe it is appropriate to meld faculty and staff with Vale Soluções em Energia in a public-private partnership.

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