HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Hiring, promotion, and tenure activities are full of risk and potential landmines. Poor hiring decisions are not only costly, but the hiring process itself opens the institution up to litigation if everyone on the hiring committee is not trained properly.
Despite the admirable goal of improving student learning by assessment, many faculty members are uneasy about participating in assessment-related activities. One way to overcome negative feelings about assessment while promoting improved student learning is to encourage faculty to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
A recent informal poll conducted by Magna Publications asked, “Would you like to see student affairs work more closely with academic affairs on your campus? What is preventing—or encouraging—collaboration on your campus?”
Most higher education institutions include language in their mission statements about the importance of diversity, but they often fall short when it comes to retaining faculty of color, says Christine A. Stanley, executive associate dean of faculty affairs at Texas A&M University, and editor of Faculty of Color: Teaching in Predominantly White Colleges and Universities (Anker Publishing, April 2006).
Incorporating material that addresses diversity issues in classes has positive effects on a number of learning outcomes. The success of efforts to make curricula more diverse depends to a large degree on faculty willingness to incorporate these materials because control of the curriculum remains in faculty hands—both collectively, in terms of course and program approval processes, and individually, in terms of daily decisions about what to teach.
Until recently, George Mason University’s tenure requirements were typical of most research institutions: research was the primary activity; teaching and service, though important, were secondary. During the past six years, GMU created new paths to tenure that recognize the different types of contributions that faculty can make to the university.
The University of Missouri recently implemented its system-wide Faculty Accomplishment System, an electronic database that provides a convenient way for faculty members to document their achievements for themselves and for administrators. […]
Incivility in higher education has flourished in recent years, fueled by a convergence of factors ranging from the infiltration of a more corporate culture and a system that rewards individual accomplishments above collaboration to decreased state funding coupled with increased workloads and expectations. For department chairs, leading teams of educators during such a difficult time can be wrought with unexpected challenges and frustrations.