Re: research criteria


Subject: Re: research criteria
From: KEVIN AUSTIN (KAUSTIN@vax2.concordia.ca)
Date: Sat Mar 06 1999 - 05:58:11 EST


Rosemary wrote (in part)...

> John Young wrote to the cecdiscuss a long time back about criteria for
>evaluating compositional activity in terms of research and investigation
>for the university. We are doing this (again) in my department, and
>there is the usual bickering and confusion.

>From my experience, this is an ongoing debate. Here at Concordia, we have
another category which confuses many people wildly: professional activity.

Canadian tax laws state that a (principal) reseacher cannot be a
financial beneficiary of the research project: an engineer doing
University based research cannot pay herself/himself. This is a conflict
of interest, because publicly funded facilities are being used for
personal gain.

[It is known that such things do happen, but sadly at here a number of
years ago, four faculty members were murdered in a case related to a
perceived conflict.]

> However, whether compositions and piano recitals qualify, for
>example, along with laboratory investigation and misicological research,
>is another story. At the moment, there is a suggestion that
>commissioned compositions are worth considerably more than
>non-commissioned, I guess on the grounds that it shows a recognition
>from outside sources that the composition is of high quality.

Depending upon the ethical standard that one wishes to maintain, it could
be noted that a 'paid' commission, is outside professional activity (and
would be viewed as such in Engineering, medicine, computer science etc).
By our Collective Agreement, some % of our activity should be in
research/creativity: ipso facto it should not be possible to claim paid
professional activity as part of the obligation of faculty members.

If this were done elsewhere in the public service, it would be called
"double-dipping", ie, being paid twice to do the same thing. (and also
abuse of privilege...)

>... that making art for money was to "sell out" ...

It depends if you are already being paid to make art. Fulltime faculty
who have a 'creative/research' obligation in their contracts are already
'making art for money', and some would note that fulltime faculty have
already "sold out"!! <yikes where are my asbestos longjons mama!>

Best

Kevin
kaustin@vax2.concordia.ca



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