Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Good Citizens of the Academic Community

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Good Citizens of the Academic Community

Article excerpt

IN ACADEMIC COMMUNITIES, this is the time of year when we review faculty for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. Two of my faculty colleagues, leaders in our internal review process, have brought the following questions to my attention, front and center: Beyond reviews of scholarship and excellence in teaching - both of which are essential - what is the value of good citizenship within academia? AND WHO CAN BE DESCRIBED AS A GOOD CITIZEN?

Is the good citizen the person who joins every committee and has perfect attendance at required faculty meetings? Or is it the person who comes to the rescue of the administration when there is a new and impending deadline for an academic report or project? Or does the good citizen do what is required of those in other communities and support the greater good of the community above individual goals?

I often quote an academic administrator who said that a good citizen faculty member is only as good as his or her own scholarship, for failure to engage in scholarly endeavors weighs down the academic ship. The academic community cannot survive without scholarship, let alone advance in its pursuits of preparing future generations of clinicians and leaders.

We all know that it is difficult to change behavior and equally difficult to teach responsibility. Yet, the nursing academic community is in great need of citizens who will not only advance the disciplines of nursing and education, but will also give that extra energy to the academic enterprise. The challenge appears when issues arise that may be good for the school but are not necessarily good for the discipline or good for the individual professional development of faculty members.

Imagine that your school needs someone to lead the accreditation report team and that you are a junior faculty member who is asked to take on this task because of prior experience in writing reports. …

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