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Effective Practices for Academic Leaders
Supporting and Retaining Early-career Faculty
Edition: Volume 1, Issue 9
Betsy E. Brown
Journal: 978 1 57922 158 4
Published: September 2006
E-Publication (PDF): 978 1 57922 387 8
8 1/2" x "
Effective Practices for Academic Leaders Archive
In this briefing I describe trends in higher education that impact the hiring and success of tenure-track faculty: increasing competition for the “best and the brightest,” the “generational change” expected as a cohort of retiring senior faculty is replaced by a new generation, and expanding roles for faculty as external influences widen expectations for higher education. I review some of the research on expectations and concerns of early-career faculty, highlighting particularly the difficulties young faculty members have identified in (1) understanding and achieving expectations for tenure and promotion, (2) becoming socialized in their institutions and departments and finding colleagues with whom to collaborate, and (3) balancing the multiple demands of jobs and personal and family responsibilities.
In addition, I explore the multiple forms of scholarship in which new faculty members are often expected to become engaged, along with the risks associated with expanded expectations and the resulting “overloaded plate.” By reviewing the results from job-satisfaction surveys of tenure-track faculty, with attention to the expectations of women and minority faculty and faculty at different types of institutions, I have identified what administrators can learn about creating competitive academic workplaces. Among the factors affecting workplace satisfaction for early-career faculty is work-life balance. I include a review of recent efforts to implement policies and practices to assist faculty, particularly early-career faculty, in balancing work and family responsibilities. Finally, I provide a list of questions that chairs and their departments can ask themselves about the support that they provide early-career faculty, and I present professional development resources. The briefing identifies the important role of the department chair in providing new faculty members—indeed, all faculty members—a supportive environment that offers clearly defined expectations and appropriate rewards, a balanced work life, and opportunities for collegiality and
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Reviews & Endorsements:
“I fully endorse this series for academic administrators, especially our department and division heads, school directors, deans, and associate deans. The topics are most relevant for administrators who have to deal with a variety of problems and issues, some of which focus on emerging topics wherein the rules and accepted norms are evolving and not especially clear. The authors for the series are renowned, superb scholars who are ‘the’ experts on the topics. The online version should be especially helpful to busy administrators whose time is extremely limited. They can access the topics at their leisure because time is at a premium. Administrators who rely on the series will be better-informed and more successful than peers who do not use the series as a primary reference.”
- Blannie E. Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University
"Concise, relevant, and well-written--very practical and straightforward. I circulate Effective Practices to others in my department."
- Lonnie R. Lewellen, Professor and Division Chair, Technology, Ivy Tech Community College, Sellersburg, Indiana
"I think it's very good – dead on!"
- Christopher Ozubko, Director, School of Art, Art History, and Design, University of Washington, Seattle
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