Wednesday, September 24, 2008

 

Well, Duh...

A new report from the American Council on Education (see it here) entitled “Too Many Rungs on the Ladder? Faculty Demographics and the Future Leadership of Higher Education” manages to notice something this blog has been saying for the last four years: a dearth of young tenure-track faculty now means a serious leadership vacuum in higher education in the near future.

Some of the stats cited in the report are worth checking out. Among them:

Nationally, only 11 percent of community college faculty are tenured or tenure-track, and under the age of 45.

In 1986, 42 percent of college Presidents were younger than 50; in 2006, only 8 percent were.

The younger generation of full-time faculty is more diverse than its predecessors, but also dramatically smaller. The shift to adjunct instruction has disproportionately affected Gen X and later. Somewhat surprisingly, the report also notes that an increasing number of community college faculty start their teaching careers above the age of 40; apparently, it's becoming more common as a second career. (That fits my local observation; I just didn't know it was a national trend.)

The report recommends rethinking the traditional upward ladder of faculty – chair – dean – vp – president to allow younger faculty to rise more rapidly, whether by skipping steps or by spending less time at each step. Although it doesn't spell out the alternative, anyone who has been paying attention knows that the alternative is an acceleration of the trend of college leadership coming from outside the academic ranks. That may or may not be a good thing, but it's getting predictable.

This looks to be one of those trends that sneaks up on you, since the current generation of Presidents still hails largely from the boom years, and it's still a big group. One of the most common sources of college Presidents is other college Presidencies; there's a certain musical-chairs quality to many Presidential searches now. But I've seen plenty of dean-level searches fail, and I've seen a few vp-level searches fail, too. The pool is getting thin, which is pretty much what happens when you don't hire new people at the entry level for twenty years.

It's possible to interpret this trend in many ways, but for now, I'll highlight the positive. Youngish full-time faculty who want administrative opportunities may soon find them easier to get than they've been in quite some time. And unlike the folks before them, this cohort will have come up through the system in its current, brutal form, so they're likelier to have a clearer sense of it. It's possible – I'm being hopeful here – that this cohort will have a greater sense of the fragility of the academic enterprise, and will therefore be more thoughtful in its stewardship of it.

Or, it could be a bunch of callow, careerist douchebags. History will decide.

My own sense of the value of experience is a bit more nuanced than what the report suggests. Skipping more than one step strikes me as genuinely dangerous, since each level is meaningfully different than the one before it. (I'd be worried about a new President whose previous experience didn't go higher than chairing a department.) But I also suspect – and the literature I've seen on teaching suggests that there's something to this – that the payoff to experience at any given level plateaus after a certain point, and eventually can even turn negative. Five years of deaning is better than two, but I'm not convinced that fifteen is better than ten. So my recommendation for administrative hiring committees would be a bit different. Be wary of step-skipping, but don't make the mistake of valuing experience linearly, either. That kind of CYA behavior by hiring committees tends to perpetuate the musical-chairs hiring of the same faces over and over again, since the Old Boys have the most experience, by definition.

I'm not naïve enough to think that a looming shortage of deans will provoke a reversal of the trend towards adjuncting-out the faculty. That's a function of much larger forces. But it might make sense for faculty hiring committees to look for certain kinds of skills in new hires, and to encourage level-headed, ethical young colleagues to see past the “crossing over to the dark side” taboo and consider stepping up. Silly stereotypes may have been affordable in an age of abundance, but that's behind us. It's time to recognize that younger faculty with administrative potential should be encouraged, rather than dumped on or ostracized. The alternative is to import managers straight from the business world, with all that entails.

Comments:
I'd like to venture a prediction:

That; the problem will most likely be addressed by creating new intermediary levels of administration - Assistant Deans, Deputy Provosts, Lead Departmental Liaisons, and some heretofore unknown titles.

I think it's especially probable that many of these new positions will not offer increased pay, or only nominally increased pay, with their increased responsibility.

That may speed people up the latter with incrementally manageable and real experience. Distributing the authority may also alleviate the vacuum. But, if institutions don't show their appreciation for this burgeoning leadership with real dollars, it risks burning out talented faculty - or at least driving them to accelerate their climb by going to another school.
 
Thank you. I can't get tenure (long story) and I AM the younger faculty. I wouldn't mind moving up but because of my youth and "lack of experience" I'm held down. Thanks for reminding people that years don't mean everything. Especially since our chair has been chair for 10 years and no new ideas are being allowed.


Just makes people like me want to leave it all together.
 
How does one intuit administrative potential in job applicants? What kind of experience should one look for? I agree that it would indeed be desirable to hire people with these skills or potential (and not just because they might make future administrators - I see a general dearth of leadership among faculty), but what is emphasized in graduate school tends not to support the development of administrative skills (i.e., the development of one's scholarship, with a distant and secondary focus on teaching). I myself had several administrative opportunities (including in a TA/GA union), but I must admit that it took me longer to finish the dissertation as a result.
 
I think one additional way to expand this pool would be to allow all faculty, not just those on the tenure track, compete for administrative positions. At my college there are quite a few full time lecturers who are outstanding administrators but they are unable to do more than work on special projects because all associate dean and higher positions require that the person be a tenured faculty member. It's a sad waste of talent.
 
I'm new to academia, so I have a question. Do presidents often move up that same administrative track? Our college president was never a faculty member. Think of it like how Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, but in academia. Does this occasionally happen?

BTW, as a young faculty member, I have little to no interest in administration. DD, your jobs sounds interesting, but it's probably not for me!
 
Dude, fascinating post! I have discovered as a junior faculty member that I have some of the attributes required of a good administrator, and I hope I will have the opportunity to give it a shot.
 
كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
تعتمد شركتنا بالرياض على احدث اجهزة الكشف للتسربات مثل اجهزة الذبذبات الصوتية الت تكشف مكان تسرب الماء بدقة بالغه دون الحاجه الى تكسير فمن خلالها يمكن للعمال تحديد مكان الصوت عن طريق سماعه بواسطة الاذن مباشرة وبكل سهوله , وهناك اجهزة حسية اخرى تستطيع التعرف على صوت الماء
شركة تنظيف بيوت بجدة
كشف تسربات
شركة تنظيف خزانات
مكافحة الحشرات بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش جدة
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام
شراء الاثاث المستعمل بالرياض
ترميم المنازل القديمة

كشف تسربات المياه
كشف تسربات المياه
كشف تسربات
كشف تسربات

وبما ان هذه الاجهزة حساسه للغايه وتحتاج الى تعامل دقيق لذلك فان شركتنا بالرياض تعتمد فى كافة خدماتها على فنيين خبراء ومختصين فى استخدام تكنولوجيا كشف التسربات والاجهزه المستخدمه واللذين يقومو بدورهم بعمل تقرير فوري يسلم الي العميل بعد الانتهاء من الكشف والذي من خلاله يكون للعميل رؤية واضحه عن الخلل او التسرب فى مواسير المياه والصرف الخاص بالمنزل ليكون على علم بأهم المشاكل التى يتطلب علاجها

 
مكسيم شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض و شركة تنظيف بالرياض تقدم العديد من خدمات شركة نظافة بالرياض داخل مدينة الرياض من تنظيف فلل و تنظيف المنازل والبيوت شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض وايضا تنظيف المكاتب والشركات وتنظيف المساجد والموكيت والسجاد وكل هذة الخدمات تتم داخل المكان عن طريق فريق عمل بزي موحد لدية معدات التنظيف اليدوية التي لاغني عنها بالاضافة الي المعدات الحديثة من ( ماكينات تلميع السيراميك والبورسلان – ماكينات جلي الرخام – ماكينات غسيل المجالس والكنب – ماكينات شفط الغبار او المياه – ماكينات التنظيف بالبخار – ماكينات ضغط المياه و تظنيف الواجهات الحجر و الزجاج – ماكينات شفط المياه لسحب المياه عند تنظيف الخزانات لآننا
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياضو تنظيف المسابح .
مكسيم شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض  و جدة و بالدمام اذا كنت من اصحاب فواتير المياه المبالغ فيها و لم تعرف عن سبب الارتفاع فى سعر الفاتوره بهذا الشكل فانه عليك الاتصال بشركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض والتى تساعدك فى معرفة السبب من شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض والذى قد يكون ثقب صغير فى خطوط التغذيه او خطوط الصرف الصحى والتى قد ينتج عنها ارتفاع الفاتورة والعديد من الاضرار المادية الخاصة بالبناء الخاص بك , فاتصل بشركتنا لتقوم بتحديد وكشف مكان التسربات ومعالجته واصلاحه على اكمل وجه وبأرخص الاسعار واقل التكاليف. اذا قررت التعاقد مع شركتنا ل كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض فانت بالتأكيد ستتمتع بأفضل الخدمات بالاعتماد على افضل الاجهزه الالكترونيه وبدون تكسيروذلك من خلال الاعتماد على عماله مدربه وماهره .

 
مرحبا ! نراعي شعور سكان المملكة العربية السعودية و خاصة سكان مدينة الرياض من ناحية عمليات النظافة فنحن شركة الطيب نقدم لكم اليوم افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياضنعد الشركة الاولي في خدمات تنظيف الكنب الا اننا نقوم بتنظيف المجالس و الموكيت و غيرها من اشياء موجودة في المنزل نعتمد اثناء القيام بالخدمات علي افضل واحدث الاجهزة و الادوات الموجودة في الاسواق فنحن شركة الطيب افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياضعزيزي العميل اذا كنت تريد شركة متميزة و بارعة في خدمات تنظيف الكنب فعليك اختيار شركة الطيب فنحن افضل شركة تقدم لك جميع خدمات المنزلية فنحن سعداء ايضا اننا نقدم لكم الراحة الكاملة لكم عملائنا الكرام نحن افضلشركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض


 
خدمات مكافحة ورش وتنظيف كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض و جدة و بالدمام اذا كنت من اصحاب فواتير المياه المبالغ فيها و لم تعرف عن سبب الارتفاع فى سعر الفاتوره بهذا الشكل فانه عليك الاتصال بشركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض والتى تساعدك فى معرفة السبب من شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض والذى قد يكون ثقب صغير فى خطوط التغذيه او خطوط الصرف الصحى والتى قد ينتج عنها ارتفاع الفاتورة والعديد من الاضرار المادية الخاصة بالبناء الخاص بك , فاتصل بشركتنا لتقوم بتحديد وكشف مكان التسربات ومعالجته واصلاحه على اكمل وجه وبأرخص الاسعار واقل التكاليف. اذا قررت التعاقد مع شركتنا ل كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض فانت بالتأكيد ستتمتع بأفضل الخدمات بالاعتماد على افضل الاجهزه الالكترونيه وبدون تكسيروذلك من خلال الاعتماد على عماله مدربه وماهره
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ÔÑßÉ ÇáÕÝÑÇÊ ááÊäÙíÝ ÈÇáÑíÇÖ

 

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