Pathology of a Sabbatical of Communication with Society in the Fields of Humanities: A Case Study of the Relationship between Humanities Professors and Think Tanks

Document Type : Scientific - Research


Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Islamic Thought, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran


Objective: The sabbatical opportunity project of communication with society and industry is considered a legal requirement for university professors. Considering the newness and necessity of this course, ignoring its possible damages may prevent the realization of the planned goals. These damages are very serious and ponderable in the fields of Humanities. In addition, now in the country, various Think Tanks solve social problems and are trying to use scientific achievements along with the experiences of other countries to provide solutions. However, a deep and structured relationship between university faculty members and Think Tanks has not been formed. The purpose of this study is to diagnose this opportunity in general and to identify the damage to communication between Humanities professors and Think Tanks.s
Materials and methods: The nature of this research is qualitative, exploratory, and interpretive, according to its purpose. Using the mixed exploratory research design and the narrative research strategy, this article tried to examine the reasons for the lack of communication between these two groups in the form of a sabbatical opportunity of communication with the society from the perspective of the two sides and finally provide a solution to remove the obstacles. For this purpose, 50 unstructured interviews were conducted with the faculty members included in this opportunity and experts and managers of different Think Tanks, and the most important damages were extracted from the perspective of each party.s 
Result and Discussion: The unknown nature of this course, the ambiguities of the internal regulations of the universities, the failure of operational units to welcome applicants, and the link between changing the status and promotion of faculty members with study opportunities are among the inherent harms of this course. In addition, the newness of the Think Tanks concept, the difference between its functions and the institution of science, the uncertainties in the stability of Think Tanks and their political affiliations, as well as the discursive difference between university professors and the environment of Think Tanks, are among the most important reasons for the lack of interests for professors to connect with Think Tanks. On the other hand, low attention to the application of knowledge by professors, the nature of the opinion of some Humanities fields, the existence of negative mental records of some professors, and the lack of university Think Tanks are among the most important challenges in the environment of Think Tanks concerning professors. In general, the most important reason for the lack of communication between these two sectors is the lack of sufficient recognition and misunderstanding on both sides and to solve it, it is suggested to create a context for frequent communication, as well as to define the context of cooperation and common interests between these two groups.s


Beaurepaire, Pierre-Yves. (2011). La France des Lumières (1715-1789). Paris: BELIN edition.
Boer, John de. (2015). What are Think Tanks Good for? March 17.
Carr, Andrew E., and Thomas Li-Ping Tang. (2005). “Sabbaticals and Employee Motivation: Benefits, Concerns, and Implications.” The Journal of Education for Business, 80 (3): 160-164.
Carraher, Shawn M., Madeline M. Crocitto, and Sherry Sullivan. (2014). “A kaleidoscope career perspective on faculty sabbaticals.” Career Development International , 19: 295-313.
Community and Industry Relations Office. (1400). Performance report for the year 1400 in the field of communication with society and industry. Tehran: Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.
Davidson, Oranit B., Dov Eden, Mina Westman, Yochi Cohen-Charash, Leslie B. Hammer, Avraham N. Kluger, Moshe Krausz, et al. (2010). “Sabbatical Leave: Who Gains and How Much?” Journal of Applied Psychology, 95: 953-964.
Eslami, Zahra, Rizvan Hakimzadeh, Aliakbar Sabouri, and Waliullah Farzad. (2019). “Identification of effective factors in measuring the research productivity of faculty members in the field of humanities and social sciences (case study: University of Tehran).” Management and planning in educational systems, 25: 149-176. [In Persian]
Falvey, Lindsay. (2005). Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism. Adelaide: Institute for International Development Adelaide.
Friedman, Scott L. (2018). “A Sabbatical: The Gift That Keeps on Giving.” Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 5 (4): 656-658.
Gholami, Parisa, and Naser Shirbighi. (2017). “Qualitative analysis of academic faculty members’ experiences of study opportunities.” Journal of Science and Technology Policy, 39: 73-86. [In Persian]
Gholami, Parisa, and Naser Shirbighi. (2017). “Qualitative evaluation of the development of human resources professions in higher education with the “study opportunity” strategy.” Journal of Management and Development Process, 103: 125-148. [In Persian]
Iravani, Hooshang. (2011). “Analyzing impacts of sabbatical leaves of absence regarding faculty members, University of Tehran.” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15: 3608-3615.
Irvani, Hoshang, Mohammad Mahdi Faizipour, Abolqasem Sharifzadeh, and Alireza Darban Astana. (2015). “Analysis of influencing factors on improving the study opportunities of Tehran University faculty members.” Research and Planning in Higher Education, 3: 1-15. [In Persian]
Kang, Bai, Michael T. Miller. (1999). “An Overview of the Sabbatical Leave in Higher Education: A Synopsis of the Literature Base.” Access on DEC 25, 2017.
Kingdon, John. (2015). Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. The Oxford Handbook of classics.
McGann, James G. (2002). “Think Tanks and the Transnationalization of Foreign Policy.” U. S. FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA: AN ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 7: 13-18.
Medvetz, Thomas. (2012). Think Tanks in America. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.
Osmanczyk, Edmund Jan, and Anthony Mango. (2004). Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. London: Routledge.
Papadimitriou, Antigoni. (2020). “Beyond rhetoric: reinventing the public mission.” Tertiary Education and Management, 26: 1-4.
Sarason, Seymour B. (1990). The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform: Can We Change Course Before It’s Too Late? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Segal, Hon. Hugh. (2008). “Comparative Think Tanks, Politics and Public Policy.” In Canadian Public Administration, by JAMES MCGAAN and ERIK C. JOHNSON, 368-379. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub.
Sharifzadeh, Abulqasem, and Gholamhossein Abdullahzadeh. (2013). “Analysis of the scientific effects of study opportunities from the perspective of agricultural faculty members.” Science and Technology Policy, 37-48.
Sibbald, Timothy, and Victoria Handford. (2022). THE ACADEMIC SABBATICAL. Ottawa: University of Press .
Singer, Peter. (2010). Washington’s Think Tanks: Factories to Call Our Own. Washington: the Brookings Institution.
Struyk, R. J. (2006). Managing Think Tanks: Paractical Guidance for Maturing Organizations. Budapest: Thes Urban Institute.
The World Bank Group. (2015). Mind, Society, and Behavior. Washingtoh D.C.: The World Bank Group.
Vice President of Research and Technology. (1400). Study opportunity for faculty members in society and industry. Tehran: Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. [In Persian]
Weidenbaum, M. (2009). The Competition of Ideas: the world of the Washington think tanks. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Yarmohammadian, Mohammad H., Patricia Davidson, and Chao Hsing Yeh. (2018). “Sabbatical as a part of the academic excellence journey: A narrative qualitative study.” Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 7: 135-148.
Yemeni Dozi Sorkhabi, Mohammad. (2017). “A reflection on the concept of adapting university.” Iran Higher Education 4: 1-29. [In Persian]
Zulfiqarzadeh, Mohammad Mehdi, and Ali Asghar Saadabadi. (2013). “Redefining the main functions of the university in society based on Islamic ideals in the thought of Imam Khomeini (RA).” Basij Strategic Studies Quarterly 65: 5-32.[In Persian]