Presidential Column

Academic Career Values and Choices: Two Perspectives

Two contributions that follow in this issue — speaking clearly but in very different voices and emerging from contrasting professional and life stages — provide distinctive but complementary perspectives on core issues raised in my presidential columns on academic life, values, and career choices faced on the road to tenure and beyond in our science.

A View From The Chancellor’s Office: Nancy Cantor
At the height of a stellar psychological science academic career, Nancy Cantor morphed into leadership roles at the highest levels of university administration, and she currently is Chancellor and President of Syracuse University. In this interview she discusses with me (her mentor at Stanford University 30 years ago) her views and feelings about the state and mission of academic psychological science in today’s world, and in the future.

A View From The Young Academic’s Office
Tor Wager, a “rising star” assistant professor of psychology in my department at Columbia University, is negotiating the path to what is becoming an extraordinary career in cognitive neuroscience. I invited him to use the presidential column this month to discuss his thoughts about that path, and he does so by marking the hard choices and milestones currently facing many of our younger researchers.

I am grateful to both Nancy and Tor for taking the time from their time-pressured lives to share their views so candidly and lucidly with our colleagues.

Observer Vol.22, No.3 March, 2009

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