It is indeed a privilege to contribute some prefatory comments to Bentley University's 2014 Research Report. The growing reputation of Bentley University and the continued success of its graduates stems from the talent and passion for inquiry of my academic colleagues that is reflected in this report. Their research endeavors produce the impactful, innovative, and responsible knowledge that is subsequently transmitted to our students and external stakeholders through an equal passion for education. Faculty members commitment to research results from their desire to generate new knowledge that has business and societal value – knowledge that enhances the education agenda of the University for benefit of its undergraduate and graduate students, and for the executives that continue to engage with it.
The university’s continued belief in the benefits of an integrated community of teacher-scholars is also amply demonstrated in the report. Departmental research agendas are presented alphabetically to reflect Bentley’s commitment to fusion grounded in the belief that developing organizational leaders and contributors to our societies requires that we produce graduates able to view challenges and opportunities through multiple lenses.
Finding innovative solutions to the challenges of our time requires the ability to see with equal clarity and objectivity the advantages and limitations that various perspectives present. Consequently, Bentley’s concept of fusion involves much more than just demanding business students to be exposed to arts & sciences and vice versa. Such an approach grounded in the naïve perception that arts & sciences disciplines develop critical thinking while business disciplines develop skills. We reject this completely and hold that both fields expand learners’ capacity for critical thinking and provide aspects of the myriad of long-term skills necessary for successful implementation. Furthermore, the ability to draw on and appropriately fuse the insight and methods of both is key to real value-enhancing innovation!
A cross-section of Bentley scholars is featured in the report – four faculty members holding research chairs, eleven professors, twenty-two associate professors, and nine assistant professors – as well as illustrative examples of doctoral, masters, and undergraduate student research. This diversity is intentional on the part of the Bentley Research Council. It demonstrates unequivocally the depth and breadth of our scholarship and highlights Bentley’s understanding of teacher-scholars – academics who do more than merely teach and conduct research by actively involving students in their research methods and findings, and who value the education environment as a source of new and relevant research questions.
I would like to conclude by thanking the Bentley Research Council and its chair, Dr. M. Lynne Markus, for the work being done to further our research agenda and enhance our research quality. A comparison of the level of external funding and research output for the overlapping five-year periods ending September 2013 and December 2014 show growth rates of well in excess of 10% across both measures. As highlighted by Lynne’s comments that follow, the Council also works closely with a large cross-section of our Faculty to ensure that the University’s scholarship remains fully aligned with its commitment to making a difference for business and wider society. The 2014 Research Colloquium focused on Big Data as an approach to doing academic research and as a subject of academic research exemplifies this commitment!
I am sure you will enjoy reading our 2014 Research Report and share my pride in the outstanding scholarship of Bentley faculty and students.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs