Posttenure Faculty Development: Building a System for Faculty Improvement and Appreciation

By Jeffrey W. Alstete | Go to book overview

WHY IS DEVELOPMENT OF TENURED
FACULTY A CONCERN?

The average age of faculty members in higher education is rising each year, and senior tenured faculty members are now the largest cohort (Finkelstein, 1993; National Center for Education Statistics, 1993). Moreover, the age of the typical faculty member will continue to rise as a result of the uncapping of the mandatory retirement age, the longer life span of today's professoriat, and tenure. Students are still entering college in large numbers after completing secondary school, and some wonder whether faculty in their 50s, 60s, and beyond have the capability and desire to be productive and effective with all that is happening in this postindustrial, information-driven society. The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence (Tapscott, 1996) asks whether the formal education system can transform itself. Geoffrey Bannister, president of Butler University, answers, [Just wait till the generation of teenage Internet users hit the universities when the average age of tenured professors is 50. Sparks are going to fly!] (Tapscott, 1996, p. 37). Of a dozen themes proposed for the new economy, the first is knowledge (Tapscott, 1996). Information technology enables an economy based on knowledge and a subsequent shift or transformation toward knowledge work. Companies and other institutions are no longer valued because of the physical assets of production, raw materials, and so on: They are valued because of what the employees and managers know. We in higher education have believed this truth about our institutions for a long time, and it is one of the supposed reasons that tenure was created—to help recruit and retain the knowledge (in the minds of faculty) of the college and to provide freedom to advance the frontiers of scholarship. Faculty can and must be part of the transformation.

Today's [faculty] development questions ask not
simply how to improve one faculty member's teaching
skills but how to revitalize tenured-in departments as
a whole, how to create entirely new career options for
faculty, how to reformulate the curriculum to attract
new student populations, and how to keep the
institution alive and competitive.
(Bland and
Schmitz, 1988, p. 191)

Development of tenured faculty is linked to competitiveness, but some institutions are more concerned about being

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Posttenure Faculty Development: Building a System for Faculty Improvement and Appreciation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Executive Summary iii
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Why Is Development of Tenured Faculty a Concern? 1
  • How Has Higher Education Responded to This Concern? 21
  • Posttenure Faculty Development in Action 45
  • Designing Development Programs for Tenured Faculty 65
  • Conclusion 87
  • Appendix A: Resources for Faculty Development 91
  • Appendix B: Nuprof Program at the University of Nebraska–lincoln 97
  • Appendix C: Sample Guidelines for a Faculty Development Plan 101
  • References 103
  • Index 115
  • Ashe-Eric Higher Education Reports 123
  • Advisory Board 125
  • Consulting Editors 127
  • Review Panel 129
  • Recent Titles 131
  • Back Issue/Subscription Order Form 134
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