Helping faculty through transitions

A pair of articles in the July 24 Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted how the needs of faculty change as their academic career progress.

“Associate Professors: Academe’s Sandwich Generation,” describes the demands on associate professors. Assistant professors are often spared from administrative duties to allow them time to earn tenure; senior faculty usually have well-established roles, both academically and administratively.  As a result, newly tenured associate professors are often called on to shoulder a large portion of work such as reviewing graduate applications and serving on university committees.

As a result, associate professors report being overwhelmed by requests for their time. These issues are also of concern at NMSU, and NMSU’s Teaching Academy has workshops specifically targeted at associate professors.

“Senior Professors: Not When to Retire but How” describes efforts at Washington and Lee and the University of Maryland to create a dialogue between senior faculty and administration about retirement. Faculty need a wide range of information, from spousal benefits to how to professors can continue their contribution to their departments as they ease into retirement. But according to the Chronicle, “helping senior professors get comfortable with the idea of retiring means that administrators must often walk a fine line. Indeed, fears of being accused of age discrimination have helped to keep the very information that senior faculty members most need about retirement out of their hands.”

NMSU Library subscribes to The Chronicle, and the article will be available after September 1, 2011 at the NMSU Library website.


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