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Research Infrastructure Challenges for Graduate Programs in STEM Disciplines at Minority InstitutionsIt is much more challenging to perform experimental research functions at many minority institutions, because of lack of adequate research infrastructure. This is especially true if one wishes to initiate and implement masters and doctoral degree program in physics. In the present paper, an attempt is made to discuss the various hurdles encountered by the authors in the establishment of Master's and Doctoral degree programs in physics at one of the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The department got no special or necessary treatment and faculty members are asked to teach as much course work as any other undergraduate department on the campus. It was very hard to convince university administration that giving less teaching load to research producing department faculty, shall culminate in abundant funding for the future years. This scenario created an extra heavy pressure on the faculty to continue the program. Some of the challenges included the resistance of some faculty and administrators to change, lack of sufficient release time for research producing faculty, and potential variation in funding or support with changes in the state education budget proration or members of the administration. In spite of the indirect cost recovery, very little infrastructure facilities was provided and the federal funding agencies did not want to interfere in the administration of the university. Various issues of recruiting and mentoring minority students, retention in the STEM disciplines as well as research infrastructure challenges at an HBCU university are presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Aggarwal, M. D. (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Univ. Normal, AL, United States)
Lal, Ravi (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Univ. Normal, AL, United States)
Penn, Benjamin G. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
June 24, 2007
Subject Category
Social and Information Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition "Riding the Wave to Excellence in Engineering Education(Honolulu, HI)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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