A study sponsored by the National Research Council, the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering notes that the public and private sectors have invested heavily in university research over the past five decades, and that rigorous peer-review systems have been established to evaluate faculty research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The study, "Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," reports that accomplished researchers garner professional rewards as well as national and international reputations.
On the other hand, systems for evaluating teaching in these fields are not as rigorous. In addition, professors who excel as instructors sometimes receive little recognition. Many universities stress the need for top-rate science and mathematics instruction, especially in undergraduate courses, but they find it difficult to objectively gauge the effectiveness of teaching skills and departmental curricula. The study notes that first-rate scholarship focused on improving teaching and learning should be recognized and supported as a bona fide academic endeavor on par with top-notch research. And faculty members who excel in the classroom should be publicly recognized and rewarded.