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Preparing to be a Faculty Member: What Do I Need to Know about Faculty Work? CIRTL Cast Ann E. Austin Professor, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing to be a Faculty Member: What Do I Need to Know about Faculty Work? CIRTL Cast Ann E. Austin Professor, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing to be a Faculty Member: What Do I Need to Know about Faculty Work? CIRTL Cast Ann E. Austin Professor, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Director, Global Institute for Higher Education Michigan State University April 7, 2010

2 Agenda What is faculty work likeespecially for early career faculty? How is faculty work changing? What do todays faculty need to be able to do? What competencies should graduate students and post-docs develop if they are planning on faculty careers?

3 Key Issues for New Faculty Learning about a new institutional culture Finding institutional resources Establishing a workable/realistic schedule and managing time Learning about expectations and seeking feedback Establishing collegial relationships Being an effective teacher Establishing a research agenda and trajectory Assuming roles as an institutional citizen Connecting with professional colleagues and associations Developing a sense of scholarly identity

4 Question: As you think of these aspects of being a new faculty member… for which responsibility do you feel most prepared? A) Learning about a new institutional culture B) Finding institutional resources to support your work C) Establishing a workable/realistic schedule and managing time D) Learning about expectations and seeking feedback E) Establishing collegial relationships

5 Question: As you think of these aspects of being a new faculty member… for which responsibility do you feel most prepared? A) Being an effective teacher B) Establishing a research agenda and trajectory C) Assuming roles as an institutional citizen D) Connecting with professional colleagues and associations E) Developing a sense of scholarly identity

6 Forces affecting Faculty Work Fiscal pressures Societal expectations for accountability and emphasis on learning outcomes More diverse student bodies New technologies and expansion of knowledge Shifts in faculty appointment patterns

7 Fiscal Pressures Rising costs Budget reductions Implications –Faculty must be Flexible Open to change Entrepreneurial

8 Societal Expectations for Accountability Demands from the public for greater access, excellent research, contributions to economic development Criticisms from the public and legislative attention Implications –Faculty must Know how to engage with the public Be committed to fulfilling institutional missions, including external expectations

9 The Changing Student Body Demand is expected to continue to grow Increasing diversity in student body--age, race and ethnicity Expectations for relevance, convenience, economy Implications –Faculty must be skillful in Teaching for student-centered learning Building on the diversity within their classes Providing support for all students, including under-prepared students Assessing student learning outcomes

10 New Technologies and New Fields Many new technologiesnew research processes, new processes for teaching and learning Expansion of knowledgenew areas and increasing inter-disciplinarity Implications –Faculty must Learn new technologies Know how to collaborate with those in other fields Deal with changing workloads Handle unbundling of responsibilities

11 Changes in the Pattern of Academic Appointments Shift from a tenure system to alternative appointment types 56% of new full-time hires not in tenure-track Contract-renewable and fixed-term appointments increasing Increasing number of part-time faculty 2004: 44% of all faculty members are part-time Only 54% of new faculty appointed full-time

12 Short Discussion Question Do you have any observations about these changes and how they are impacting faculty work?

13 What competencies should graduate students and post-docs develop as they prepare for faculty careers?

14 Competencies for Faculty Work Conceptual Understandings Knowledge and Skills Interpersonal Skills Professional Attitudes and Habits

15 Conceptual Understandings Disciplinary knowledge –Norms and values, cutting-edge questions, debates, methods, criteria of excellence, patterns of work History of higher education –Traditions and challenges over time, relationship of higher education to society Institutional types –Different missions and cultures Professional identity –Professional responsibilities, different forms of faculty work, being a member of a scholarly community,

16 Knowledge and Skills Teaching and learning –How learning occurs; how to respond to student differences; variety of teaching strategies; pedagogical content knowledge; curriculum design; assessing student learning; teaching-as-research Research –Framing appropriate questions; designing and implementing scholarly projects; collecting and analyzing data; presenting results; giving and receiving feedback Engagement and Service –How to collaborate with different groups; how to communicate with diverse audiences Institutional Citizenship –Kinds of governance structures, faculty responsibility in governance; how to work effectively with institutional leaders

17 Interpersonal Skills Communication skills –Communicating verbally and in writing to different audiences; engaging in respectful dialogue Teamwork and collaboration –Ability to work in diverse groups; conflict management Appreciation of diversity –Ability to work effectively with diverse others including colleagues from other disciplines and those with other kinds of appointments

18 Professional Attitudes and Habits Ethics and integrity –Understanding conflicts of interest; intellectual ownership; research standards; bias; confidentiality; role of peer reviewer; ethical relationships with students Motivation for lifelong learning –Commitment to engage in ongoing learning; knowledge of strategies to promote learning Professional networks –How to build networks Passion and balance –Knowledge of different models for building productive and satisfying academic lives

19 Discussion Do these competencies seem appropriate and important to you as you think about a career as a faculty member? Are there other competencies you would add to the list?

20 Discussion What strategies might you use to further prepare yourself for a faculty career?

21 Further Reading Austin, A. E., & McDaniels, M. (2006), Preparing the professoriate of the future: Graduate student socialization for faculty roles. In J.C. Smart (ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research, Vol. XXI, pgs Netherlands: Springer.

22 Anns Contact Information Ann E. Austin Professor, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Director, Global Institute for Higher Education 419A Erickson Hall Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Tel:


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