Academic journal article Peer Review

From the Editor

Academic journal article Peer Review

From the Editor

Article excerpt

I recently had the chance to chat with James Miller, one of my former communications professors, who still teaches at my alma mater, Hampshire College. Jim's thoughtful guidance was invaluable throughout my undergraduate career. The following are Jim's reflections on the rich experiences of his more than thirty years in the academic trenches. In concert with the articles in this issue of Peer Review, his comments speak to the necessity and challenges of supporting faculty as their roles evolve in the twenty-first-century academy.

-SHELLEY JOHNSON CAREY

When Hampshire offered me a job, I held the contract long enough so I could sign it on my birthday. This was a big deal, becoming a professor. Full-time, regular, tenured faculty-the New York Times recently reported we are a minority in the academy-lead a charmed life. True, most of us are not getting rich, but we have phenomenal independence to pursue what interests us. And student interest often spurs us to explore new subjects. To do this sort of creative exploration as a job is a unique and profound privilege.

My own work has meandered over time, starting with a focus on media policy and technology and the work of journalists to settling now more on questions of political culture. Along the way, I've been involved in Canadian and European studies, which have made my work comparative and internationally oriented. That really pushed back my horizons. I've been able to lecture, collaborate, and conduct fieldwork all over Europe.

New technologies have definitely changed the way I work. It's common to use the Web in class instruction. All my courses have Web sites where most of the readings are available in PDF form and students put together digital video and PowerPoint presentations at the end of each semester. My office phone almost never rings. …

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