Miguel A. Bustillos has over 25 years of combined business and healthcare experience. His current position is department head for all undergraduate studies programs at California University of Management & Sciences (CalUMS). Miguel is a board member of the National Capital Healthcare Executives, board member of the membership committee at the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, member of The American Physiological Society, member of the American Association for Respiratory Care, member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, member of the Society of Health Policy, and member of the Florida and Maryland Association for Respiratory Care. He is also board certified by the National Board of Respiratory Care and the Board of Physicians of the State of Maryland. He holds advance degrees in business and cardiopulmonary sciences and have published numerous articles in both business and health issues. Miguel is also an editorial review member for the Independent Journal of Management & Production. His research interest lies in corporate culture.
GAUDEAMUS. How do you select your research projects for your department?
MIGUEL A. BUSTILLOS. We allow our professors to do independent research on topics of their choosing. This keeps them motivated. We do require them to publish at least once a year.
G. Being Department Chair it should not be easy to coordinate and organize research, is there any aspect worth mentioning that could help us researchers regarding health care projects?
MAB. Healthcare projects are very complex and scientific in nature. I am referring to medicine. I would encourage the use of technology to keep adequate metrics of large numbers that are necessary to come to conclusion. Also, they take long periods of time due to the disparities of the samples.
G. If you had to prioritize, what do you put in the first place: teaching or researching?
MAB. I would say that I enjoy research because of the discoveries that are made through its use; however, my heart lies in the classroom. Therefore, I have to admit, I enjoy teaching more.
G. What is the research activity you like most?
MAB. The research activity I like the most would be testing for fallacies. Did I omit anything based on bias? This is when good testing is of most importance.
G. Internet and open access is changing the scholarly publishing industry, is it also changing research activity?
MAB. It is. It allows us to have access to information that was not available to us years ago for various reasons. I often warn researchers about the sources they use when they do their research, because we tend to believe the data of others without verifying the source. This is especially true when the source is a well established researcher in that particular field. I do not trust anyone’s data. I like to develop my own judgments. I use their data only as a guide.
G. What drives academics in your field of knowledge to publish in journals?
MAB. I believe in some cases it is the old adage of publish or die. However, I like to think it’s more of the need to write something of substance that may be life changing. This seems to be what I get from most of my colleagues. But, we can never forget about tenure. It seems to be a great motivator in the academic world.
G. How do you organize in your department to choose the journals where to publish? Or if you prefer, what are you looking for in a journal?
MAB. We know that all of our professors will not be able to publish in top tier journals. We understand this; therefore, we give them some credit for any published work. However, we have set up incentives for our professors to encourage them to publish in good journals. We do not like or encourage any professor to publish in journals that require payment from a professor to publish. We frown upon that.
G. Finally, what advice would you give to novel researchers (for example, about collaboration, time dedicated to research, make an impact, etc.).
MAB. I believe that every researcher should do research on whatever topic they most enjoy and drives their passion. I find that professors that are forced to conduct research on topics they dislike tend not to produce a good final product. This includes doing research due to grants. Yes, grants are necessary, but they should only be pursued by those that are genuinely interested in that topic.