A Note from the Dean
Research as Teaching
Greetings from Gainesville. I wish to describe an exciting new initiative just beginning at UF, namely an enhanced emphasis on scholarly research, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Research by graduate students has always been a given. It is the basis for their development into first class scholars, scientists, etc. CLAS has been a leader in this area for many years, and the president and provost have determined that we need to grow further to make an even greater impact nationally and internationally. UF plans include a 40% growth in graduate students over the next five years, which will enable us to recruit additional outstanding faculty.
We also attract a truly remarkable group of undergraduate students to UF, the cream of the crop among Florida high school graduates. These students arrive with extensive advanced courses and are ready to move into highly specialized and individual instruction by their junior and senior years. In most of the CLAS disciplines, the full development of these young scholars should include experience working one-on-one with our best faculty. So we are placing a new emphasis on undergraduate research, because we believe such experience turns out graduates who have a very broad grasp of their academic disciplines.
Sometimes those unfamiliar with research and teaching institutions like UF think of these two primary areas as being in conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. Good teaching draws upon research, and research in its best form is a teaching experience. Students who carry out undergraduate research seek out new knowledge, and they experience invaluable personal growth working closely with a faculty member of their choice. They will also likely make acquaintance with graduate students and learn more about possible masters and doctoral studies. This is teaching and learning of the highest order, and we are proud to have undergraduates who are able to operate very effectively within this atmosphere. We want to show students that there can be an almost seamless transition between undergraduate and graduate studies, one being an extension of the other.
CLAS is doubly blessed by enjoying some of
the world's finest students and faculty. These student scholars and
faculty scholars working together demonstrate higher education at its best.