September 13, 2013

Advice for New Faculty: Six Lessons from the Front Lines

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Teaching can be a daunting profession even for a seasoned veteran. For new faculty members, it can feel like a daily battle just to keep your head above water. So what are some ways that new teachers can ensure not only academic success for their students, but also maintain their own emotional and personal well-being? Below are six lessons learned by two new faculty members who have managed to keep their students learning and their sanity intact:


June 24, 2013

Half of Faculty Say Their Job is More Difficult Today than Five Years Ago

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If you find yourself working longer hours or maybe feeling a bit more stressed at the end of the day, you’re not alone. Fifty percent of college faculty who completed the annual Faculty Focus reader survey said that their job is more difficult than it was five years ago. Only nine percent said their job is less difficult, while 33 percent said it’s about the same.


May 29, 2013

Understanding the Role of Intuition in Teaching

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What is intuition? It’s one of those terms that is hard to get a handle on. And yet teachers rely on their intuition every day. A situation unfolds in class: some kid in the back moves restlessly and takes an iPod out of his back pack. Those sitting nearby look at what he’s doing. A couple of them start whispering as he continues to fuss with his iPod. Some students in the next row glance backward. The teacher continues to present information. She pauses to ask a question, and all the while she’s sees what’s happening in the back of the room. She rightly assumes that she’s lost the attention of students back there. She opts for an abrupt break in the instructional action. She stops talking, turns to the board and, without speaking, writes a question there. Then she faces the class. “Stand up. Everybody stand up.” Students shuffle to their feet. “Now look at this question. Spend the next couple of minutes talking with the persons around you. In two minutes I want answers and examples.”


October 24, 2012

Financial concerns a major source of stress for faculty at U.S. public colleges, universities

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Faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities continue to experience multiple sources of work–life stress, but those at public institutions in particular cited financial concerns as a top source of stress over the last two years, according to a new UCLA report on teaching faculty at the nation’s institutions of higher education.


October 16, 2012

Academic Freedom Do’s and Don’ts for Faculty and Administrators

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Have you have heard of Garcetti v. Ceballos? This 2006 U.S. Supreme Court case involving Gil Garcetti, a district attorney for Los Angeles County, and Richard Ceballos, a deputy DA, had nothing to do with higher education and yet it has had a profound effect on the academic workplace, particularly at state-supported colleges and universities.



March 28, 2011

“But This is What I’ve Always Done” – Tips for Avoiding Teaching Ruts

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As an undergrad I had a hard time settling on a major so I sampled a lot of different courses during my first couple of years. I remember signing up for one course that looked perfect because it combined two of my interests — media and American politics. In addition to learning about the changing dynamics between the two from a historical perspective, I was excited to see how the professor would incorporate the current presidential election into the course.


February 8, 2011

How to Talk Yourself out of a Job

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We tend to think of interviews as processes that select suitable candidates for different jobs. But in many ways the purpose of interviews is to reject unsuitable candidates. After all, by the time a search reaches the stage of meeting a few finalists on campus, the institution is largely satisfied that everyone being interviewed is qualified for the job. The critical question now is, Which of these finalists is the best fit for the program and the institution?


December 2, 2010

Changing Roles, Improved Conditions for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

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As institutions increase their reliance on part-time and non-tenure-track faculty, the issues of equity and instructional quality take on more importance. One way to address these issues is to integrate non-tenure-track faculty into the culture of the department and institution. In this article, we highlight how the composition program in the English department at Appalachian State University is making this cultural change.


October 29, 2010

Interviewing Strategies for Hiring New Faculty

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The stakes are high when hiring a new faculty member who can teach, publish, and serve your institution. Since most vitae make the candidates sound wonderful, is there a way to ensure that the strongest candidates get hired? Long used in the business world, behavior-based interviewing (BBI) aids in the selection of new faculty who can perform their tasks.