> PUI vs R01 institution? Could you offer any pros or cons to any of the above?
The difference between working in a central vs departmental CHO role has already been well described. So having worked at both PUI and R01 schools (and in between), I'll offer these observations:
1. Research intensive institutions with broad laboratory operations are great EHS learning opportunities, as previously described, but those opportunities tend to be a bit frantic and are difficult to see through to from start to finish before the next opportunity arises. For this reason, EHS staff tend to be involved in small segments of many different programs and projects. This can lead to some personal frustration as it's hard to see progress in those diffuse efforts.
2. Primarily undergraduate institutions provide opportunities for clearer connections to the academic mission of teaching, research and service, and broader experiences in terms of management of overall EHS programs. There are limits, though, in the technical depth and breadth of a CHO's duties at a PUI. For example, how many times do you want to pick up the same flammable wastes from the same classes for disposal?
I feel lucky to have been able to experience this variety in the many opportunities that EHS work involves. Almost as lucky as having been able to work in the field for so long.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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