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Date Reviewed: June 17, 2021
The mid-career stage is the longest segment of the faculty career and it contains the largest cohort of faculty. Also, mid-career faculty are ...
The mid-career stage is the longest segment of the faculty career and it contains the largest cohort of faculty. Also, mid-career faculty are tasked with being the next generation of faculty leaders and mentors on their respective campuses, with little to no supports to do so effectively, at a time when higher education continues to face unprecedented challenges while managing continued goal of diversifying both the student and faculty bodies.
The stories, examples, data, and resources shared in this book will provide inspiration--and reality checks--to the administrators, faculty developers, and department chairs charged with better supporting their faculties as they engage in academic work. Current and prospective faculty members will learn about trends in mid-career faculty development resources, see examples of how to create such supports when they are lacking on their campuses, and gain insights on how to strategically advance their own careers based on the realities of the professoriate.
The book features a variety of institution types: community colleges, regional/comprehensive institutions, liberal arts colleges, public research universities, ivy league institutions, international institutions, and those with targeted missions such as HSI/MSI and Jesuit.
Topics include faculty development for formal and informal leadership roles; strategies to support professional growth, renewal, time and people management; teaching and learning as a form of scholarship; the role of learning communities and networks as a source of support and professional revitalization; global engagement to support scholarship and teaching; strategies to recruit, retain, and promote underrepresented faculty populations; the policy-practice connection; and gender differences related to key mid-career outcomes.
While the authors acknowledge that the challenges facing the mid-career stage are numerous and varying, they offer a counter narrative by looking at ways that faculty and/or institutions can assert themselves to find opportunities within challenging contexts. They suggest that these challenges highlight priority mentoring areas, and support the creation of new and innovative faculty development supports at institutional, departmental, and individual levels. (From the Publisher)
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2021
Thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded, this classic resource covers a broad spectrum of timely topics and is now truly more than a guide—it\'s a much-needed desk reference that tells you "everything you need to know to be a department chair." The Essential Department Chair contains information on topics such as essentials of creating a strategic plan, developing and overseeing a budget, key elements of fundraising, preparing for the role of chair, meeting the challenges of mentoring to increase productivity, and creating a more collegial atmosphere. The book also explores the chair\'s role in the search process, shows how to conduct a successful interview and what to do when it\'s time to let someone go. And the author includes suggestions for the best practices to adopt when doing an evaluation or assessment.
The Essential Department Chair, Second Edition, contains a wealth of new, realistic case studies to equip leaders in this pivotal position to excel in departmental and institutional life. (From the Publisher)
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2021
In this second edition of his classic resource, Don Chu outlines the proven ideas and strategies new department chairs need in order to do their jobs well. Thoroughly ...
In this second edition of his classic resource, Don Chu outlines the proven ideas and strategies new department chairs need in order to do their jobs well. Thoroughly revised and updated, The Department Chair Primer contains information that addresses the current pressures and challenges in higher education and offers practical suggestions for responding to them.
Filled with illustrative examples, the book gets straight to the heart of challenges and issues. Each chapter details a particular problem, includes a brief introduction to the topic, and provides tips on how to deal with the situation. Covering a wealth of topics, The Department Chair Primer
-Explores the chair\'s role as department leader
-Offers suggestions for handling stress and conflict
-Includes information on budgeting, resource management, and development
-Contains strategies for professional development, people management, and working with challenging personnel
-Presents ideas for handling department communications, student development, and strategic positioning
Written in a concise and accessible manner, The Department Chair Primer is an ideal resource for the busy new department chair. (From the Publisher)
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2021
Leave Your Attitude at the Door: Dispositions and Field Experiences in Education
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2017
If a title reflects a book’s content, then this work is a particularly good case in point. The authors consistently refer to various real-life examples from the sphere of education in order to highlight the importance of attitudes and dispositions. While thus staying true to the book’s title, the authors additionally share pieces of wisdom from the field informed by years of experience.
Education is a service industry. Educators and trainees are called to serve and not to be served. While this may seem like commonsense, the authors remind readers that commonsense is not all that common and the problem of entitlement is not as uncommon as one would like it to be (26). In this light, the authors make the case for the assessment of dispositions along with accompanying narratives that will address the issue in a professional and timely manner (38). While offering critical feedback, however, coordinators and instructors are simultaneously encouraged to keep in mind the need for reassurance, support, and empathy for students who are teacher candidates.
The book is filled with humor, allowing readers to let their guards down a little and see the need for inculcating professionalism in work settings. The authors narrate accounts of students in training who cite seemingly legitimate reasons for absences only to be caught – thanks to social media – going on cruises. The authors offer other cases, such as those who try to outmaneuver school buses pulling out of parking lots just to get ahead. Then, believe it or not, are those who speak inappropriately to students, including saying, “You don’t like my jacket? Well, your momma liked it last night” (42).
Working with future educators, the authors argue rightly, necessitates being proactive. While entitlement and lack of professionalism are matters of utmost concern when working with teacher candidates who are adults, these very adults also have particular lives that bring up questions of shelter, work-school balance, adequate food, parenting and other familial responsibilities. “Can you be proactive? Yes! Should you be proactive? Yes! Does it take time? Yes! Does it take work? Yes! Is it worth it? Absolutely!” (47). Through such series of questions and responses, the book presents a wealth of material in a readily accessible manner to teacher educators.
Educators are warned that perfectionism may come at the cost of unsustainable superficiality. Reminding educators that “we are they,” the authors note that “what we create together will ultimately serve our students, schools, and communities” (55). The emphasis on creating together means that authentic, professional, and healthy relationships and partnerships are acknowledged as being at the heart of a successful field education experience (55). Such relationships and partnerships need constant tending and care, much like a garden (54-55).
As readers make their way through the book, a realization soon emerges. Transcending the this-is-my-obligation attitude in order to come to a place where “we make promises and keep them” (59) is key. Commitment, talent, and care for the educational setting are tested by problems, dispositions, and attitudes (77). Anyone interested in navigating these realities would benefit from engaging this work.