I am researching how the organizational culture in the (HUJI) CS department affects students. If you have thoughts, ideas, or an opinion on this issue, I encourage you to let me know.
The research is for a seminar paper I am writing on the Computer Science department (‘chug’) in Givat Ram, its organizational dynamics, and how they affect the students’ learning experience. More specifically, I am interested in how the various logistic, academic, and cultural structures existing in the CS department – as well as its interfaces (e.g. with advanced studies programs, with the high-tech industry, etc.) – affect the average undergraduate student.
I am interested in practically anything you can think the Chug (department) does that affects the student’s entire undergraduate experience, outside of the actual CS academic content studied. Arbitrary examples may include the amount of work expected of a student to invest weekly, Professor-Student relations, the size of the classrooms, various in/formal codes of conduct, existence (or lack thereof) of social activities/facilities, chug-organized meetings, Jewish-Arabic or male-female ratios & interaction, whatever.
So, if you have any thoughts on this; if you’ve ever said to yourself (or to your friend, or blogged about it, or put a petek in the Kotel, you get the drift) “Man, because of so-and-so, my studies are this-and-that” – let me know! If your idea is useful, I’ll be sure to let you know and include your name in the bibliography, not to mention entering your name in a sweepstakes to win a Honda Cruzer ®.
On a personal note, I am very excited to be writing this paper, as this is essentially studying a topic I have a heavy personal interest in anyway.
There exists (surprisingly?) little literature on University organization culture; as often noted, this is not the least of which because universities, especially as they relate to undergraduates, have very unclearly defined goals to begin with. Are they about research? Educating their students for knowledge’s sake? Crafting the next generation of researchers? Making money? Doing what the state requires of them? This severely limits any possibility – some would say, any point – of researching how the inner organizational structure, dynamics or behavior affect that undefined goal. Furthermore, most existing organizational behavior work (including in Israel, including Gideon Kunda’s “מהנדסים תרבות”), has been focused on profit-inclined corporations, where both the collective and individual goals are much better defined than the university’s case, notably in the undergraduate case.
It is worth pointing out two major differences between normative organizations (who are usually the focus of organizational behavior studies) and what I purport to research presently:
1. A university-student relationship is not an employer-employee relationship. The student is only part of the university (as an undergrad) for 3-4 years; this time limit is well-known ahead of time and affects both sides’ behavior. The student pays for his time, and his relationship with the organization resembles more that of a client than of an employee. In other words, the student is not effectively part of the organization; he is affected by the organization’s behavior, but has very little say in creating or affecting it.
2. Due to reasons including the above (but also due to the fact that I am more interested in the individual than the organization itself), I am not going to research why the chug is/does what it is/does, but rather examine indeed what and how it does the things it does; effectively, I am planning (hoping?) to research and depict what the CS undergrad’s degree feels like, considering all things the degree consists of but the actual computer science itself.
So, to recap my main point: Do you have an opinion on how the CS department treats its undergrads – anything from how much the classes are heated to the age of the TAs to computer labs’ opening hours – let me know. Today is a good day for science!