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The American Faculty

, 600 pages

37 line drawings

November 2008



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The American Faculty

The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers

Higher education is becoming destabilized in the face of extraordinarily rapid change. The composition of the academy's most valuable asset—the faculty—and the essential nature of faculty work are being transformed. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein describe the transformation of the American faculty in the most extensive and ambitious analysis of the American academic profession undertaken in a generation.

A century ago the American research university emerged as a new organizational form animated by the professionalized, discipline-based scholar. The research university model persisted through two world wars and greatly varying economic conditions. In recent years, however, a new order has surfaced, organized around a globalized, knowledge-based economy, powerful privatization and market forces, and stunning new information technologies. These developments have transformed the higher education enterprise in ways barely imaginable in generations past.

At the heart of that transformation, but largely invisible, has been a restructuring of academic appointments, academic work, and academic careers—a reconfiguring widely decried but heretofore inadequately described. This volume depicts the scope and depth of the transformation, combing empirical data drawn from three decades of national higher education surveys. The authors' portrait, at once startling and disturbing, provides the context for interpreting these developments as part of a larger structural evolution of the national higher education system. They outline the stakes for the nation and the challenging work to be done.

Jack H. Schuster is a professor of education and public policy emeritus at Claremont Graduate University. Martin J. Finkelstein is a professor of higher education at Seton Hall University.

"The definitive work of a broad shift now underway."

"The authors paint a troubling picture."

"Always readable, occasionally conversational style... keeps you moving along."

" The American Faculty is destined to be a classic... The most thorough and thoughtful analysis of its topic in many years."

"I found this book to be a significant resource for data on the American professoriate. "

"Practitioners and researchers looking for a comprehensive overview of the faculty life with an emphasis on changes in the last 40 years will be well served by reading The American Faculty."

"This book and its extensive research appendices are a must-read for scholars who study the academic profession... It will be important for provosts, deans, department chairs, and those who have previously been involved in the 'faculty roles and rewards' movement to read this book and interpret its trends and implications for their own campuses and plans for faculty hiring, professional development, and reward systems."

"An impressive piece of work, a key reading for anyone interested in the state of academic work—especially, but not only, in the United States—and where it might be headed."

" The American Faculty is an extensive examination of the condition of the American academic profession."

" The American Faculty is a worthy addition to the expanding field of higher education studies."

"Jack Schuster and Martin Finkelstein's The American Faculty cannot be approached with anything but interest."

"In-depth, insightful, with a masterful handling of the relevant data, The American Faculty provides the most comprehensive overview of the status of the academic profession that is available."

"A unique study of the present academic moment and, given the magnitude of effort involved in any attempted replication of its methods or results, The American Faculty will not be easily superceded."

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