The Importance of Research Developing a research Culture at the University of Cambodia

Dr. Douglas Whitlock, President Emeritus of Eastern Kentucky University (US), and Mr. Po Eng, Information Resource Specialist at the US Embassy, met with several members of the UC Management Team and five students on October 6, 2015. Dr. Whit-lock spoke extensively about research, a topic that is paramount for UC. He emphasized that UC must de-termine the capacity of faculty for research, and that we must build on this capacity by conducting work-shops, and that faculty must be encouraged to do re-search. This task could be accomplished by offering incentives, for example. He argued that these incen-tives can be flexible, whether it be time or money or heavy recognition, which would be dependent on the current situation at the University; additionally, UC can offer seed money to encourage research. The Uni-versity needs to establish a committee to evaluate pro-posals, which would be based on the fit for the mission and strategic plan, the person’s capacity, and the potential for continued funding from outside sources, which is fundamental for the long-term sustainability of the university. Hiring additional research assistants could also contribute to a culture of research.

He argued that research holds immense value for UC, as it can enhance the reputation of the uni-versity, attract faculty and students, make faculty into better teachers, and benefit the students by giving them access to emerging information and allowing them to take part in critical investigations. He also encouraged UC to make sure that it defines research broadly in order to ensure that every discipline is val-ued. The University of Cambodia warmly welcomed his comments and incorporated them into the newly launched Council for Research and Creativity.

By: Mr. Travis Mitchell