The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor

The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor

The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor

The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor

Synopsis

In their programs, doctoral students learn their academic discipline. Less frequently are they taught how to be professors. New professors may have little if any knowledge about the different sorts of academic institutions in which they might obtain positions, the steps to be taken to secure a good job and be successful in it, and the legal and ethical dimensions of college teaching. This book offers graduate students and new professors some practical advice about how to negotiate their way through these often complicated issues. The book is written in essay style and presents the candid views of a number of new and experienced faculty members and administrators from across the United States.

Excerpt

Gene A. Budig

former Chancellor University of Kansas

Teaching at the college or university level is one of the most rewarding careers an individual can choose. After years of arduous (and costly) study, the newly minted Ph.D. is ready to embark on the long-sought career. Academic departments and advisors will often provide guidance for that initial job search, but traditionally one learns how to conduct a career by observation, exploration, and pure chance. Colleagues and mentors can— and will—be helpful, and so will this volume of essays.

Professors Hostetler, Sawyer, and Prichard and their contributors have provided a superb handbook for the aspiring faculty member and, indeed, for the veteran as well. It is a practical, pragmatic, and candid guide from women and men who have the experience to address their topics authoritatively. They also all share a genuine interest in the well-being and success of their junior colleagues, a desire to help them achieve their potential as teachers and scholars. The collegial spirit from which this volume springs is characteristic of American higher education. There is competition in the academic world, certainly, but there is also a higher degree of collegiality than in perhaps any other profession: a shared commitment to our common goals of teaching, research, and service.

This is not to say that the beginning professor will find a life of ease and comfort. Those very faculty who offer welcome and assistance must also judge the contributions of their new colleagues and make difficult decisions on promotion and tenure within a few years. They have shown their faith in the potential of the new professor through the selection and appointment of this candidate, but it is the task of the new professor to . . .

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