Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

HIGHED 740 - Understanding the Academic Profession

3 Credit(s) | Lecture | Graded
Not repeatable for credit

The academic profession is essential to the mission and purpose of higher education. Faculty members carry out the core functions of teaching, research, and service to the public. Therefore, any effort to improve institutional outcomes - Including student retention and degree completion - depends upon the involvement and grassroots leadership of faculty members. Given the central role of faculty in nearly every aspect of Institutional operations, academic leaders need a thorough understanding of the history, values, and traditions of the academic profession. The development of effective academic policies and practices may, In fact, depend upon developing accurate analyses of the issues that are challenging and reshaping the academic profession. Furthermore, faculty members themselves may need a more Informed understanding of their own profession, so that they can more effectively advocate for the priorities of the professoriate. This course examines the historical foundations and contemporary policies and practices that shape the academic profession. We explore the professional identity and values of faculty, including academic freedom, professional autonomy, and shared governance, as well as the external and institutional forces that challenge those values. We also seek to understand how faculty work is shaped by contextual factors such as discipline and institutional type. Students will examine research on the socialization and training or future faculty, as well as studies that focus on professional development across the faculty career span. The course provides an equity-based analysis of the academic profession, and seeks to Illuminate the work context for women faculty, faculty of color, and part- time and non-tenure-track faculty. Students will explore faculty roles in research, teaching, and service, and examine how the quality of the academic work environment can affect faculty satisfaction and performance. We conclude by creating guidelines for the development of academic policies that can mutually support the priorities of faculty and the needs of higher education institutions.