1 Future of the Professoriate: How Must We Change? 2015 CIRTL Forum April 14, 2015 Texas A&M University Mary Deane Sorcinelli Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Weissman Center for Leadership, Mount Holyoke College Senior Scholar, Bay View Alliance for the Reform of STEM Undergraduate Education Research Professor, Center for Teaching & Faculty Development, UMass Amherst
2 Future of the Professoriate Like most of us, I suspect, I wish I had a crystal ball so that I knew what the future will hold in store for faculty. Since I don t, I am wary of making predictions. (Trower, 2012).
3 A Prediction The Professoriate is Likely to Change Some More in the Future Although Exactly How is Not Clear. (Sorcinelli, April 14, 2015). Adapted from Carey, K. (2015 ). The End of College. Working Title: Higher Education is Likely to Change Somewhat in the Future Although Exactly How is Not Clear.
4 How Must We Change? Who is the We? Academic Leaders Centers for Teaching & Learning Departments Ed Researchers (Assessment) Faculty Members Graduate Schools Graduate Students & Postdocs Instructional Technologists Librarians Professional/Disciplinary Associations/STEM Networks
5 Guiding Questions How is the professoriate changing? What do new faculty need and want? How are we preparing the professoriate now? What might we do to ensure a better future?
6 How is Professoriate/Faculty Life Changing? Expectations to keep up with expanding knowledge and changing technology Expectations to use evidence-based practices to support diverse learners Pressures for heightened productivity/entrepreneurialism Need to work collaboratively Escalating pace and expanding workload Sense of declining faculty power and autonomy Challenge of finding/maintaining academic community Challenge of defining boundaries between personal and professional lives Need for continuous professional development
7 Changes in Demographics and Appointment Patterns Professoriate is more diverse in both gender and race Professoriate is aging and staying Shift from full-time professoriate to alternative appointment types Growing number of appointments in non-tenure, nonpermanent, contract, contingent, and part-time positions Lower salaries, fewer benefits
8 Changes in Appointment Patterns Increasing employment of NTTF is occurring across institutional types, including elite institutions. More than 2/3 of all instructional faculty (part-time and fulltime) at public and private institutions are employed in nontenure-track positions (NTTF) (Kezar & Sam, 2010) In recent years, 3 out of 4 hires are made off the tenuretrack. (Schuster & Finkelstein, 2006)
9 What Do New Faculty Want? 1. Good transition/orientation 2. Support for research and teaching 3. Effective evaluation process (annual review, tenure, contract) 4. Supportive department/workplace (climate, collegiality, mentoring) 5. Greater integration of work and home life (Boice, 1992; Fink, 1990; Sorcinelli & Austin, 1992; Sorcinelli, 2000; Trower, 2012)
10 How are We Supporting Faculty Now? Top issues for which T&L Centers are offering services: 1. New faculty development/orientation (3.5) 2. Integrating technology into traditional T&L settings (3.3) 3. Learner-centered teaching (active, inquiry, evidence-based) (3.2) 4. Assessment of student learning outcomes (3.2) 5. Course and curricular redesign/reform (3.1) 6. Blended and online learning (2.9)
11 If We Could Add or Expand Services Evidence of learning (SoTL, TAR) Post-tenure career (mid-career and senior faculty) Diversity (mentoring underrepresented faculty, multiculturalism in the classroom)
12 A Forecast: Where Should and Will We Go? A picture here that connotes the future of FD a faculty member or student with computers, smart phones, or internet, etc. could be in it!
13 We SHOULD head in these directions
14 We WILL head in these directions
15 Flexible, Modular, Customized What approaches should FD take in the future? Faculty learning communities (interdisciplinary, peer) Asynchronous online programs Web-based resources (e.g., links to articles or internet content) Webinars (1-2 hour synchronous web-based seminars that can be saved & viewed later) Department/discipline specific workshops Intensive institutes (2-3 full days)
16 Collaborations, Partnerships, Networks Hats off to CIRTL! Break down divisions and hierarchies that structure TL& FD on our campuses Position Grad/Post-Docs/NF as equal partners in creating learning opportunities Expose STEM grad students to colleagues across the disciplines
17 Experimentation, Exploration, Risk-Taking Encourage each other to experiment with delivery, methods, programs and materials to see what pans out Re-envision our roles and relationships to expand the pedagogical sphere Be willing to take risks, to be wrong, and possibly fail.
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