University Education


The IAPRI University Education Community of Practice (UECoP) is a membership driven organization of academics created within the IAPRI framework. Full membership is limited to academic (faculty) practitioners within IAPRI, though graduate students, and corporate and governmental members may participate in a limited fashion. Topics that may be discussed can include whatever the Chair and UECoP Advisory Board deems relevant to its Mission. Knowledge sharing will occur thru a variety of techniques, via regularly scheduled activities and events and an online library of reference materials.

Mission Statement
To bring together Packaging Academics from around the World to improve knowledge sharing amongst IAPRI members by fostering positive communications that enhance Packaging Education and Research within their respective institutions, leading to an improved quality of life for their respective clientele.

The Education UECoP is a:
  • Community that will evolve to address commonly shared interests and problems.
  • Place for educators to come together in real time to collaborate, ask questions, share resources, and remain up to date in current best practices.
  • Forum in which educators can address issues important to them, learn from the group, and ultimately become better at what they do.
  • Networking opportunity where educators can interact with others from around the world.
  • Source for peer review of scientific research for publication by IAPRI.
Administrative Structure
The administrative structure will consist of a Chairperson and an Advisory/Planning (A&P) board. The chair will have overall responsibility for planning and operations and will work closely with the IAPRI board and the UECoP board. The chair serves a 2-year term with an additional term possible. The chair is elected from the UECoP active membership, and no institution should be allowed to have consecutive chairs. The A&P board should consist of 7 members. The CoP chair and five members elected from the UECoP membership, plus one member selected by the chair. They serve 2 or 3 year rotating terms and no one institution should have more than one board member at any one time. The chairperson and UECoP board will have shared responsibility in planning and scheduling activities, liaising with the IAPRI board, and maintaining and expending the online library.

Full membership will be limited to tenured and non-tenured faculty within the IAPRI Academic Institutions. They work toward the common goal of professional development by forming participatory connections and sharing ideas, practices and tools with their peers. They are willing to collaborate regularly to share information, improve their skills, and actively work on advancing the general knowledge of the domain. They take ownership of this area of interest and create value for their colleagues. Membership entitles the individual to topic development and activity/event participation (presenting thru podcasts and at symposia and conferences, participating in forums and panels, asking questions and other). Graduate students (MS & Ph.D.) and post docs of these academic institutions may participate in generation of topics for discussion, and actively participate in UECoP events. Faculty in member Universities teaching packaging related courses, but not in the Packaging Academic Unit may participate in the UECoP and enjoy the same access as graduate students in the Packaging Unit. All packaging students at member institutes shall have access to the online library. Corporate members may participate by posing questions during live activities and accessing the online library. Membership within any of these groups requires active engagement by the individual.

If you want to join the Packaging Education CoP and you qualify: Click on this link:

Activities will include:
  • Podcast – (suggested) one per month, topic and presenter TBD
  • Panel – (suggested) one per quarter, topic and panel members TBD
  • ½ day Symposia at IAPRI world and member conferences, topics and presenters TBD
  • Creation and maintenance of an online reference library, to include; refereed articles, books, periodicals and archived presentations
  • Interfacing with refereed journals to better facilitate the review process for packaging papers
  • Others as appropriate
Potential discussion topics
  • The list of potential topics is very large and a thematic approach might be appropriate for a specific time-frame. Examples of topics are as follows:
  • Curriculum development
  • The importance of research dollars and publications in obtaining Promotion and Tenure.
  • Is one refereed publication as good as another?
  • Research options – Post docs or Grad students?
  • Committee work, is it worth the time?
  • Tenure or Long-term contracts, what’s better?
  • Non-tenured faculty, equality in evaluation, raises and promotion.
  • Grants – what is more important; government, foundation or private business?
  • Conflicts of interest and ethics.
  • Multidisciplinary research or going it alone?
  • Interacting with today’s students.
  • Dealing with University bureaucracy and politics.
  • The value of attending/presenting at National and International symposia and conferences.
  • Teaching and public service.
  • Should you stay a Research scientist or become a unit Administration.
  • Consulting for profit.
  • Others as desired.
  • Ultimately, the outcome(s) of this work effort will be whatever the participants make of it. Potential outcomes may include:
  • The sharing of experiences useful to one’s future.
  • An enhanced perspective on what is important to succeed within the University Community.
  • A much better “tool kit” for surviving and prospering in the University environment.
  • An improved understanding of the “How tos” of University life.
  • Is the University life right for you?
  • Greater awareness of the cultural differences that impact University success.
  • A greater number of lifelong friendships.
  • An improved quality of life for the individual and family
  • Others
 Start Up Initiatives: the UECoP
  • Obtain buy in from the IAPRI Advisory board that the UECoP is a worthwhile entity and should be pursued. 
  • Broadcast to the IAPRI membership the existence of the UECoP.
  • Create a discussion group from IAPRI Universities to further develop and solidify the UECoP as a Community of Practice.
  • Sign up members. The UECoP should include participants with different levels of expertise who may approach a particular opportunity or issue from diverse viewpoints.
  • Select a chairperson and UECoP Advisory Board and begin planning the first activities.

Dr. Bruce Harte, Director Emeritus Michigan, State University School of Packaging