Cultures of governance really do vary between academic institutions of different sizes, types, affiliations, and location. Policies and practices around faculty employment are part of an ongoing conversation in which expectations, standards, and taboos are always evolving—just like in the rest of the world.
For that reason, it’s fantastic that so many institutions, departments, organizations, and individual scholars report (and give their two cents) on what faculty issues have arisen in their neighborhood, and what they find interesting in the bigger picture.
So we thought we would share just five consistent sources of information about the kinds of difficulties or windfalls faculty affairs offices are running into, and where provosts, deans, and department chairs are finding themselves today.
The blog version of the AAUP’s magazine, Academe, is a pretty indispensable window into the faculty work world. You’ll find thoughtful reporting on patterns in professors’ work lives, and it gives a valuable sense of the policy issues preoccupying career scholars.
Not strictly speaking a blog, this page of the rather influential Council’s website pulls in news stories tagged “faculty issues” from all over the ACE site. Since ACE explicitly represents college and university presidents, this is a telling source about the meaning of faculty issues through a university’s business lens.
Far from a newsreel relevant only to the City University of New York, the Faculty Senate’s blog features diverse stories tackling from many angles the question of how best to serve the needs of faculty members—so that they can serve the needs of students and of their fields.
You’ll find a steady supply of interesting thought pieces and studies on the Portland State Provost’s blog whose import extends far beyond the Pacific Northwest. It’s a neat place to find innovative higher ed research that you’re not running into elsewhere. (See: “Imagining an Educational Hybrid of ‘Utility U’ and ‘Utopia U.”)
A delightful, somewhat surprising source for this kind of insight, the blog of Nature magazine’s Naturejobs board has begun a great “faculty series” addressing a number of pressing topics relevant to academic scientists, whose research and teaching are tied into non-academic industries left and right. It features some fresh takes on a lot of common academic career experiences from a scientist’s perspective.
AND ONE MORE FOR EXTRA CREDIT:
Okay, admittedly, this stream of updates from Harvard’s COACHE organization comes and goes. But what’s come out so far contains interesting case studies, perceptive research, and incisive questions being asked about academic careers and how they are best supported and approached.