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2000 Conference: Selected Bibliography

Selected Bibliography on the topic of Issues for the Professoriate

Atkinson, R. (1996, November). Adjunct faculty: A buyer's market. Newsletter of The Organization of American Historians. [On-line] Available: Given the expanding use of part-time and adjunct faculty, this document gives adjunct teachers the opportunity to describe their own experience. Widely varying enrollment patterns are recognized as underlying the need for flexibility in the staffing ofcourses. However, some worry that increased reliance on adjunct faculty will decrease the credibility of academic institutions; others argue that adjunct teaching demonstrates versatility, flexibility, and commitment to the profession. Adjunct teachers report increasing unhappiness with the low pay, the lack of benefits, and the lack of contracts and security associated with part-time teaching. Travel-time between campuses is one of several factors limiting opportunities to continue research efforts. Additionally, there is concern that students may view adjunct faculty as being less professionally-qualified than full-time faculty.

Boyer, E. L. (1997). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

This text explores how faculty time is rewarded and which faculty activities are most prized. Proposes four general views of scholarship: discovery, integration, application, and teaching, and suggests placing equal value on all four forms though not requiring every faculty member to excel in each. Institutions are encouraged to stress their unique qualities and strengths and to reconsider the narrowness of the faculty reward system. Appendices provide results of a 1989 national survey of faculty on attitudes toward promotion and tenure, personal job satisfaction, and other job characteristics.

Burgan, M. (1995, Fall). Considering tenure: Keep the teacher at the heart of education. Educational Record, 34, 37.

This text suggests that efforts to undermine and abolish tenure will result in exploitation of part-time faculty and place budgetary and political concerns at the center of teaching and research. Tenure enables those who commit their lives to passing on knowledge and insight to remain central to the education of current and future generations. Those who support tenure believe social progress and the acquisition of knowledge depend upon freedom and continuity for teachers. The article argues that a life of teaching and scholarship requires an investment of social and institutional commitment and that tenure is that commitment.

Finkelstein, M. J., Seal, R. K., & Schuster, J. H. (1998). The new academic generation: A profession in trans-formation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Chapter five, "The new academic generation at work," compares the experience of new entrants into faculties of higher education with that of their senior colleagues. Dimensions explored include: actual and preferred distributions of faculty effort among teaching, research, service, and other activities; office hours and amount of contact with undergraduates; instructional methods employed in the classroom; involvement in research and publication; and the content and nature of outside (concurrent) employment. The findings are that, though of increasingly diverse backgrounds than previous cohorts, new career entrants tend to resemble their more experienced colleagues in the relative importance they ascribe to research and teaching, the autonomy they experience in their work, and their perceptions of the adequacy of the facilities and resources available in campus work environments. Additionally, women in both cohorts report less satisfaction with their work environment than do men; new-cohort women are also decidedly less likely than are men to perceive that women and minorities are treated equitably on their campuses.

Greenberg, M. (1995, Fall). Considering tenure: It's not holy writ: Can we talk? Educational Record, 35-36.

This article ascribes contemporary challenges to tenure to three major concerns. First, tenure's virtual assurance of lifelong employment is viewed as an extraordinary privilege in the midst of substantial economic, technological, and workforce changes. Second, the tenure system is seen as a major impediment to educational reform in a time of dramatic change in the purposes of higher education. Third, the inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities and women has been restricted by personnel inflexibility induced by tenure. For women, the timetables and productivity demands for earning tenure are out of sync with their life patterns, especially during child-bearing years. Greenberg proposes alternatives that avoid the rigidities which undermine the virtues of tenure. The article also notes legislators' and trustees' signals, along with the growing public sentiment for accountability, strongly suggest the wisdom of a re-evaluation of tenure as presently conceived and practiced.

National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. (1999, February). Managing faculty assets to accommodate new realities. NCHEMS News, 15, 2-5.

This article notes that increasing demands on higher education resources require new ways of thinking about faculty time spent delivering instruction. The article suggests that the key to real increases in productivity may be to parcel out various components of the teaching process more daringly than we do, using technology and new instructional staff to fulfill some of the five basic instructional functions (initially designing, and then developing, curricula; delivering instruction in class; mediating learning processes for individual students; and assessing student learning) when evidence suggests they might be effective. Also stressed is the importance of acquiring and nurturing a new kind of "para-professional" staff to support ongoing instructional development &endash; technologically-skilled, schooled in a variety of pedagogical approaches, and sufficiently anchored in the disciplines to be credible to mainline faculty.

Schuster, J. H. (1998, January/February). Reconfiguring the professoriate: An overview. Academe, 48-53.

This article points out that, in American higher education, part-time faculty are drawing close in number to "core" full-time tenure (or tenure-track) faculty. Increasing reliance on contingency staffing undermines the loyalty between institutions and faculty, compromising the quality of the academic workplace and adding to the mounting disincentives for choosing an academic career. The author identifies a number of trends and options which he feels have the potential to correct the excesses of what he argues is too heavy a reliance on part-time faculty.

Wilson, R. (1999, September 24). Computer scientists flee academe for industry's greener pastures: Universities face severe shortages at a time of booming undergraduate education. Chronicle of Higher Education, A16-A17.

This article reports that computer science and engineering departments are facing a critical shortage of faculty as new Ph.D.s and current faculty leave academe for more lucrative, less stressful jobs in business and industry. Universities want to respond to the demand for these majors by increasing course offerings and programs but are losing faculty at the same rate "or faster" than they can hire them.

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