Mid-Career Faculty

Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities

At a time when higher education institutions in the United States are the subject of increased media scrutiny and nearly continuous loss of funding by resource-strapped state legislatures, a greater understanding of higher education’s bulwark resource—mid-career research and teaching faculty—is more important than ever. Faculty at mid-career comprise the largest segment of academia. For some, this is a time of significant productivity and creativity, yet for others, it is a time of disillusionment and stagnation. Revealing impediments and pathways to faculty job satisfaction and productivity will strengthen higher education institutions by protecting, fostering, and maintaining this vital workforce. In this collection we will explore the lives of mid-career faculty as our authors uncover the complexities in this stage of professional life and discuss support systems for the transition into this period of faculties’ academic careers.

Mid-Career Faculty: Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities is designed for faculty leaders, administration, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of higher education. This text offers an examination into an often overlooked period of academic life, that of post-tenure mid-career faculty. Therefore, the aim of this text is to deepen our understanding of the lives of mid-career faculty, to identify barriers that impede job advancement and satisfaction, and to offer suggestions for changes to current policy and practice in higher education.

Contributors are: Joyce Alexander, Michael Bernard-Donals, Pradeep Bhardwaj, Kimberly Buch, Javier Cavazos, Jay R. Dee, Anne M. DeFelippo, Andrea Dulin, Jeremiah Fisk, Carrie Graham, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, Florencio Eloy Hernandez, Yvette Huet, Jane McLeod, Jennifer McGarry, Maria L. Morales, Eliza Pavalko, Laura Plummer, Mandy Rispoli, Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, J. Blake Scott, Michael Terwillegar, Jenna Thomas and Claudia Vela.

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Anita G. Welch, Ph.D. (2007), University of Kansas, is Dean of the College of Education at Wayne State University. She has published numerous articles on a variety of topics, including mid-career faculty and dispositions of online faculty.

Jocelyn H. Bolin, Ph.D. (2009), Indiana University, is a Professor of Educational Psychology at Ball State University. She has co-authored several textbooks on multilevel statistical modeling and has published on a wide variety of topics including mid-career faculty productivity and satisfaction.

Daniel Reardon, D.A. (1993), State University of New York at Albany, is Associate Professor of English at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dan has published articles on program administration, popular culture, and digital pedagogy.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Anita G. Welch, Jocelyn Bolin and Daniel Reardon

PART 1: Barriers and Challenges in the Lives of Mid-Career Faculty

1 Mid-Career Faculty: The Current State of the Field
Michael Terwillegar, Jenna Thomas and Jocelyn Bolin
2 Sustaining Faculty Vitality at Mid-Career: Individual and Institutional Strategies
Anne M. DeFelippo and Jay R. Dee
3 The Academic Mother at Mid-Career
Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw
4 Career Advancement Experiences of Mid-Career Women Faculty and Those across African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American Diasporas
Carrie Graham and Jennifer McGarry

Part 2: Strategies to Support Mid-Career Faculty

5 Making Time: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty through Mentoring
Michael Bernard-Donals
6 A Comprehensive Approach to Supporting and Promoting Mid-Career Faculty
Kimberly Buch, Andrea Dulin and Yvette Huet
7 Faculty Writing Groups: A Tool for Providing Support, Community, and Accountability at Mid-Career
Laura Plummer, Eliza Pavalko, Joyce Alexander and Jane McLeod
8 Career Development Strategies for Mid-Career Faculty
Pradeep Bhardwaj, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, Florencio Eloy Hernandez and J. Blake Scott
9 Keeping the Momentum: Mid-Career Faculty Mentorship
Mandy Rispoli
10 Using Organizational, Functional, and Personal Development to Help Mid-Career Faculty Members
Javier Cavazos-Vela, Maria L. Morales, Claudia Vela and Jeremiah Fisk

11 Conclusion: Protecting and Promoting Higher Education’s Greatest Resource
Daniel Reardon

This text is designed for all faculty leaders, administration, policymakers, and anyone else concerned with the future of higher education. It is an important resource for academic workplaces.
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