While I am far from a computer guru, I know the great value of technology and have become addicted to email. I am not sure how many hundred email messages I get each week, but my OCD tendencies lead me to an irresistible desire to check and respond to my messages many times a day. Such a compulsion is, I fear, only one symptom of my personal infomania and rushaholism. And I know I am not alone.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
Don’t look now but it won’t be long before Millennial faculty arrive on your campus as well. For four-year institutions, the first wave of Millennial faculty should arrive by 2013. For community colleges, where many faculty often are not required to have doctorates, the wave will arrive even sooner.
Like many deans, Monte Finkelstein did not plan to be a leader. He began as a history instructor, gradually took on more leadership responsibilities, and came to his division deanship at Tallahassee Community College through his desire for challenges beyond the classroom and the retirement of the previous dean.
What obligations do faculty members have to their institutions beyond their disciplines and departments? It’s a question that is sure to get a lot of play as higher education institutions deal with the pressures brought about by increased scrutiny from outside constituents and other factors such as changing student demographics and a shift from a faculty-focused to a learner-focused orientation.
The current conditions for leadership development in academe are less than optimal. More often than not, academic leaders come from faculty ranks having been asked to assume positions as department heads/chairs or even deans having had no previous administrative experience. The individual has opportunities for development, but not on any long-term or ongoing basis.
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).
When done correctly, a strategic plan provides an academic department with a definitive blueprint. When done incorrectly, it’s an unpopular waste of time. Dr. Anne Massaro of Ohio State University shares strategies for making strategic planning more relevant for faculty, and for ensuring that once the plan is complete, it doesn’t sit on a shelf collecting dust.
Most of us who have found our way into academic administration (surely, few of us actually plan such a career) have learned to survive the whitewater rafting experiences of academe by drawing on reserves of stoic patience and calm rationality we never knew we had. That is to say, Epictetus lives today in many an academic administrator’s office, perhaps sitting like some modern-day Jiminy Cricket on the administrator’s shoulder, saying, “Patience, my friend. Be strong and endure, for this too will pass.”
On Tuesday’s post, we discussed an Oxford University study that looked at departments recognized for their excellence in teaching at 11 research-intensive universities. Based on what they learned, Christopher Knapper and Sergio Piccinin, two of the researchers who conducted this study, offer the following advice:
After years of service and moving up through the faculty ranks, senior faculty members often feel they have earned the privilege of concentrating their teaching efforts on upper-division courses, leaving the introductory courses to younger faculty members. It seems fair enough: If you stick around long enough, you will be able to teach the courses you enjoy most. But is it the best arrangement for students?