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.
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
Introduction Anita G. Welch, Jocelyn Bolin and Daniel Reardon
PART 1: Barriers and Challenges in the Lives of Mid-Career Faculty
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
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.