In general, do professors work at liberal arts colleges because they do not want to have to face the pressure of writing a lot of research papers? Instead they want their evaluations to be skewed towards their teaching quality?

  • 2
    Question sounds overly provocative. Teaching creates pressure, too. There are several deadlines every week (each lecture). Also, some people prefer teaching over research. I don't think they are trying to skew their evaluation, rather they are doing what they want to do. May 28, 2012 at 7:50

1 Answer 1


You're not expressing the question in the most flattering way, but yes: most academic jobs are a mix of research and teaching (and also service / administration), and there is a lot of variation in the importance placed on each from job to job. Some people are more interested in one than the other, and the faculty at liberal arts colleges have signed up for a job in which more emphasis is placed on teaching and student contact than a, well, a research university.

At a good liberal arts college faculty are still expected to be research active -- it's just that they spend more hours per week on teaching than their colleagues at a more research-oriented institution. Someone who felt like writing research papers was pressure that they didn't want to face would probably be more comfortable at something like a four-year, junior, or community college, in which in most cases the research expectations are really nominal.

  • But a professor isn't prohibited from publishing a lot of papers even if he/she works at an LAC? May 27, 2012 at 18:15
  • Prohibited in what sense? May 27, 2012 at 18:33
  • Like is there a limit for example like 20 papers per year a professor can publish at a LAC? May 27, 2012 at 18:34
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    No, there are no publication limits in any academic job (!!). May 27, 2012 at 18:47
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    I wish there were limits :). "You shall NOT publish more than two papers a year" - that would be so awesome.
    – Suresh
    May 27, 2012 at 20:30

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