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Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw


Women, especially those in mid-career, who identify as mothers and academics make complex choices limited by a unique set of external and internal constraints and challenges that shape their families and academic career trajectories. This chapter seeks to examine the current decisions and behaviors of Academic Mothers, highlighting ways in which these decisions and actions are constrained by institutional, familial, and societal factors. The author makes the invisible struggles of mid-career Academic Mothers more transparent and offers practical strategies for addressing challenges Academic Mothers face.

Edited by Anita G. Welch, Jocelyn Bolin and Daniel Reardon

Carrie Graham and Jennifer McGarry


Scholars have reported the intersectional identity of women faculty across African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American Diasporas has impacted their career advancement experiences and job satisfaction, or a positive response as a result of a job being fulfilling, and in step with one’s values (Callister, 2006). However, little is known about the career advancement experiences of women faculty across ethnic groups in mid-to-later career stages. This chapter explores how faculty with intersectional identities experience workplace barriers, engage in career decision-making and persist in the professoriate. Also discussed are the limitations of mentoring and strain of workplace experiences on women faculty across African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American Diasporas.

Pradeep Bhardwaj, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, Florencio Eloy Hernandez and J. Blake Scott


Mid-career faculty are often defined as faculty who have achieved tenure and promotion but are not nearing retirement. Research on mid-career faculty has noted various challenges faced at this stage of the academic career. There is, therefore, a need for support of mid-career faculty. The University of Central Florida (UCF), one of the largest universities in the nation, has developed a multiple-pronged approach to meeting the needs of mid-career faculty. In this chapter, we describe our evolving cluster of mid-career faculty support programming and offer few specific recommendations for institutions that are beginning or enhancing mid-career faculty support.

Kimberly Buch, Andrea Dulin and Yvette Huet


This chapter describes a mid-career mentoring program at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The comprehensive program is centered on a versatile 6-step career planning process. Program details are reported so that they may be adapted by other institutions. We also report longitudinal data on program impact, showing a 150% increase in the percent of STEM full professors who are female and a decline in the gender gap between male and female associates’ perceptions of barriers to promotion. Finally, we share lessons learned throughout the 10 years of our efforts to engage mid-career faculty in intentional, ongoing career development.

Faculty Writing Groups

A Tool for Providing Support, Community, and Accountability at Mid-Career

Laura Plummer, Eliza Pavalko, Joyce Alexander and Jane McLeod


Indiana University began its Faculty Writing Groups to address the gendered and midcareer challenges felt by many women on research campuses. Our goal was to provide support, community, and accountability. The program has been an unmitigated success; it now is gender-inclusive and comprises 250 faculty from over 60 departments, drawing writers from all academic ranks and offering leadership positions to 15 midcareer women. Participants indicate increases in productivity, greater satisfaction with their writing agenda, and deeper affinity with colleagues and campus alike. This chapter describes the program structures while indicating its versatility and scalability for adoption at other universities.

Anita G. Welch, Jocelyn Bolin and Daniel Reardon

Keeping the Momentum

Mid-Career Faculty Mentorship

Mandy Rispoli


Among tenured faculty, mid-career faculty represent the future of university scholarship and leadership. Yet the mentorship and guidance faculty received as assistant professors often does not necessarily prepare them for their new roles as associate professors nor for their promotion to full professor. The purposes of this chapter are: (a) to review of the literature on higher education mentorship models with a specific focus on mid-career faculty mentorship, (b) to review successful mentorship models from institutions of higher education in the US and abroad, and (c) to propose a mid-career mentorship model and conceptual framework.

Making Time

Supporting Mid-Career Faculty through Mentoring

Michael Bernard-Donals


The provost’s office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison created a pilot “mid-career mentoring program” which creates opportunities for mid-career faculty to work with a more senior faculty member, creating a kind of time that punctuates the academic rhythms of teaching, research, and service. This essay describes the program and its outcomes, and its creation of mentoring spaces that create not only the longitudinal temporality required for research and planning (chronos), but also those moments of opportunity (kairos) that are sometimes lost amidst the chaotic swirl of the academic work-place.

Mid-Career Faculty

The Current State of the Field

Michael Terwillegar, Jenna Thomas and Jocelyn Bolin


Mid-career faculty comprise the largest segment of the academy yet there is scant empirical evidence for the policies and practices related to mid-career faculty. The aim of this chapter is to provide an introduction to the lives of mid-career faculty working at institutions of higher education in the United States. The National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, conducted in 2004, served as the source of the demographic information and included a sample of 1,080 public and private not-for-profit degree granting postsecondary institutions, as well as a sample of 35,000 faculty and instructional staff (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2004). An analysis of recent articles related to mid-career faculty provided a theoretical foundation from which to begin our exploration into the topic.