Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Academic Leadership

Mid-Career Faculty Issues Often Overlooked

Faculty careers are often divided into three phases: beginning, middle, and end. New faculty have been studied in some detail—probably because of the great influx of them. So have senior faculty, although less than new faculty. But what about that expanse in the middle? Researchers Baldwin, Lunceford, and Vanderlinden (reference below) quote sources describing mid-career faculty as “perhaps the least studied and most ill-defined period in life.”

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Why Your New Department Chair Needs a Coach

Becoming a department chair does not always follow a smooth or particularly well-thought-out process. Most faculty, who have no academic leadership training, need real support to make this career transition a successful one. […]

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Creating Faculty Collegiality: Strategies for Department Chairs

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.

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Faculty Evaluation Serves Institutional, Individual Needs

The challenge of faculty evaluation is to simultaneously foster faculty development and fulfill the institution’s goals and mission, says Larry Braskamp, professor of Education at Loyola University Chicago and advocate of a humanistic approach to faculty evaluation.

“Evaluation involves setting the culture and climate for faculty to develop, and it has to take on an openness and respect for the individual to experiment and fail. You encourage faculty members to self-assess.

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Setting Academic Priorities, Identifying Signature Programs

What are your institution’s signature programs—those programs that epitomize your institution’s mission and define its distinctiveness in the marketplace? It’s a question that every institution should address, particularly when faced with increasing competition and decreasing resources, says Jonnie Guerra, vice president for academic affairs at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania…

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Tell Students When They’re Wrong

Instructors need to be thoughtful and reflective about those strategies they use when they respond to students’ answers, and this is especially true when the answer given is wrong. Most of us understand that the stakes are high in this case. Students are easily intimidated. Even those not participating can be negatively affected by how an instructor handles incorrect answers. Some current philosophies of education argue against telling students that they are wrong. The thinking here is that students need to figure out for themselves if their answers are right or wrong. Instead of telling them, instructors should guide them to the right answers, possibly through some sort of Socratic dialogue…

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