Media Focus! Beijing Jiaotong University's School of Economics and Management Cultivates a Fertile Ground for Young Faculty Development!
Article source: |Release date: 23-Oct-2023|Clicks:478

In late October 2023, Huang Chao, a young faculty member from the Finance Department of Beijing Jiaotong University's School of Economics and Management, traveled to Qufu, Shandong, to participate in an educational practice activity themed "Exploring the Culture of Teaching and Embodying the Initial Heart of Education". During the packed itinerary, they visited the China Teachers' Museum, the "Three Confucius" sites, and, as a particular segment, the School's Curriculum Ideology and Politics Synergy Center organized a distinctive curriculum ideology and politics seminar at the Apricot Altar in front of the Dacheng Hall in Confucius Temple, where Confucius was said to have taught his disciples. For Huang Chao, who had started teaching independently less than two years ago, such seminars are always enlightening.


Huang Chao, who joined the university in May 2021 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, has participated in several similar activities organized by the school. At the School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University, providing a robust platform and fertile soil for the growth of young faculty has always been regarded as a matter of great importance.


Fastening the "First Button" of Teacher Morality


Li Tong, the Party Secretary of the School, maintains a year-long work habit of meeting and conversing with every newly employed young teacher, setting forth expectations and hopes regarding teacher morality and ethics. Li Tong believes that teachers are the foundation of education, and teacher morality is the essence of a teacher. When starting their teaching career, young teachers need to fasten the "first button" of teacher morality and ethics right from the beginning.



Based on this philosophy, apart from initial discussions upon employment, the school has developed a comprehensive set of practices to help young teachers "fasten their buttons" correctly. On the one hand, the school strictly controls the political and ethical aspects of young teacher recruitment, making teacher morality and ethics a primary factor in hiring, job title evaluation, mentor selection, and awards. It emphasizes political standards and ensures process tracking.


On the other hand, the school has established a "Teacher Morality Building Month" mechanism, which includes inviting heads of school affairs, graduate, personnel, and teaching staff departments for policy interpretation, inviting officials from the National Commendation and Rewards Office to conduct thematic ideological and political classes on heroic models, and guiding faculty party branches to carry out party-building and educational activities aligned with their disciplines. The school continuously improves the teacher's morality and ethics system. In recent years, faculty members have been organized to visit places like Xibaipo in Hebei, Hongqi Canal in Henan, Linyi in Shandong, and Jinggangshan in Jiangxi for experiential teaching, with young teachers included explicitly in these trips. Also, leveraging media platforms such as Guangming Daily, China Science Daily, and People's Network, the school has planned and released reports on exemplary deeds of teachers like Xu Shoubo, Liu Yisheng, and Ma Zhong, establishing credible and respectable role models for young teachers.


Furthermore, as a critical project of the Party Committee, the school has put significant effort into recruiting outstanding young teachers into the Party, achieving continuous development over six years and recruiting more than ten teacher party members, including talented individuals who have studied abroad at prestigious universities like Waseda University in Japan and the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy. Many young teachers who joined the Party quickly advanced to higher job titles, taking on roles such as branch secretary or deputy department head, rapidly becoming the backbone of teaching and research, demonstrating the guiding role of party building in the work of young teachers.


"We aim to guide the young teachers of the college to always bear in mind 'the greater good of the nation', conscientiously promote the spirit of educators, and adhere to the original mission of educating for the Party and the nation," says Li Tong.



Building Bridges and Platforms for Young Faculty Development


In early 2023, the School of Economics and Management at Beijing Jiaotong University pioneered the "Pre-appointment—Long-term Appointment" system, recruiting outstanding talents domestically and internationally. Qualified young teachers could earn up to a million yuan in annual salary, substantial research startup funds, settling-in allowances, and designated doctoral student enrollment quotas. Within just ten months, nearly ten outstanding young talents from top universities like Utrecht, Hong Kong Polytechnic, Tsinghua, and Renmin University joined the School, entering the "Pre-appointment—Long-term Appointment" system, with one of them achieving the Overseas Young Talents status and meeting the highest appointment criteria.


The Dean responsible for talent management, Shi Xianliang, finds this exhilarating. "Introducing high-level talents accelerates the quality development of our school," he says. "We are determined to create a fervent environment of seeking and cherishing talents, introducing high-level faculty through extraordinary means to support our 'talent-driven school' strategy."


While focusing on talent introduction and cultivation, the School also pays close attention to the precise nurturing of existing faculty, establishing a diversified growth path system, and creating an environment conducive to the development and emergence of young teachers.


Beijing Jiaotong University, originating from railway management and established in 1909 as the Railway Management Training Institute, is China's first higher education institution specializing in management talent training. Deeply rooted in the school's substantial industry background, the college has a close, natural connection with the industry. Its inception without domestic precedents, drawing only from foreign experiences, has made internationalization a distinct feature of the School. Combining local and international elements has shaped the dual advantages of nurturing young faculty.


Since 2014, the School has envisioned becoming a business school leading China's industrial development. Over the years, it has relied on academic and professional strengths to support national strategies, primary industry needs, and fundamental theoretical research. The School has introduced methods for research team management, research performance rewards, and academic journal categorization, enhancing organized research and promoting major projects, platforms, achievements, and teams, achieving positive results. In the past five years, the school's research funding has reached nearly 400 million yuan, ranking among the top in China, and it is expected to exceed 100 million yuan in 2023 for the first time. This includes two projects of over ten million yuan each, led by young teachers, marking a historic breakthrough. The School also provides significant policy advice services through national high-end think tanks and eight provincial and ministerial-level research platforms, with over 20 policy suggestions receiving feedback from central or local leaders. Young teachers have been significantly involved in these processes, rapidly growing and playing a vital role as a new force.


Meanwhile, as a century-old institution known for its high degree of internationalization, the School has established over 100 international cooperation projects with renowned global institutions and leading enterprises, covering various levels. In 2021, the School passed the EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA&BGA triple accreditation, becoming the 116th in the world, 13th in mainland China, and 3rd in Beijing to achieve this, entering the top 1% of global business schools. This has further lowered the costs of international recognition and expanded the space for international exchange. Young teachers are the most active participants and direct beneficiaries in ongoing comprehensive, in-depth, and high-quality international cooperation. Data shows that from 2022 to date, faculty members have published 54 top-tier journal papers, including 7 in UTD24 journals, a historical high for the School, with 38 of them led or co-authored by young teachers. Young faculty member Xia Meimei has been listed as a "Highly Cited Chinese Scholar" for seven consecutive years.


Being a Confidant for Young Teachers


No matter how busy they are, Li Tong and Shi Xianliang always attend the School's annual young teachers' symposium. They deeply engage with each young teacher to understand the difficulties and challenges in work, study, and life. They patiently listen to everyone's opinions and suggestions on the School's work, often responding promptly with solutions to the problems. Both share a mutual understanding and consensus: "Young teachers are the future and hope of the School. We must do our utmost to lend a hand at the crucial stage of their career start and uphill journey. This is an inescapable responsibility of the School."


Beijing Jiaotong University's School of Economics and Management has nearly 300 faculty and staff, including over 230 professional teachers, making it one of the largest faculties among similar domestic institutions. Correspondingly, the School has a large union organization. Supported by the School's Party Committee and administration, the union has long focused on building a democratic, healthy, and happy culture among the faculty and staff, earning honors such as "Beijing's Advanced Education Union Work Unit," becoming a trusted "maternal home" for the majority of faculty and staff.


Naturally, this union is also an essential bridge in connecting with and caring for young teachers. To increase the enthusiasm for physical exercise among faculty and staff, the association innovatively established a system of cultural and sports clubs, including yoga, badminton, swimming, tennis, basketball, table tennis, dance, and football, attracting over 160 faculty and staff to regularly participate in sports activities. Every new young teacher can find their favorite sport. In 2020, under the union's auspices, a Young Teachers Committee was established, voluntarily composed of teachers under 40, providing a platform to promote the growth and role of young teachers. Considering the characteristics of young teachers, the union also actively collaborates with external organizations to hold single-youth social events, helping to address challenges in making friends and finding romantic relationships. The association also coordinates various resources to assist with childcare and schooling for young teachers' children, alleviating their concerns and supporting them.