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Professors Behaving Badly

, 240 pages
November 2011



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Professors Behaving Badly

Faculty Misconduct in Graduate Education

• A faculty member publishes an article without offering coauthorship to a graduate assistant who has made a substantial conceptual or methodological contribution to the article. • A professor does not permit graduate students to express viewpoints different from her own. • A graduate student close to finishing his dissertation cannot reach his traveling advisor, a circumstance that jeopardizes his degree. This book discusses these and other examples of faculty misconduct—and how to avoid them.

Using data collected through faculty surveys, the authors describe behaviors associated with graduate teaching which are considered inappropriate and in violation of good teaching practices. They derive a normative structure that consists of five inviolable and eight admonitory proscriptive criteria to help graduate faculty make informed and acceptable professional choices.

The authors discuss the various ways in which faculty members acquire the norms of teaching and mentoring, including the graduate school socialization process, role models, disciplinary codes of ethics, and scholarship about the professoriate and professional performance. Analyzing the rich data gleaned from the faculty surveys, they track how these norms are understood and interpreted across academic disciplines and are influenced by such factors as gender, citizenship, age, academic rank, tenure, research activity, and administrative experience.

John M. Braxton is a professor of education at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, and editor of Reworking the Student Departure Puzzle, Perspectives on Scholarly Misconduct in the Sciences, and Faculty Teaching and Research: Is There a Conflict? Eve Proper is an assistant professor of management at LIM College in New York City. Alan E. Bayer is a professor emeritus of sociology at Virginia Tech and director emeritus and founder of the Virginia Tech Center for Survey Research. Professors Braxton and Bayer are coeditors of Faculty and Student Classroom Improprieties and coauthors of Faculty Misconduct in Collegiate Teaching, the latter also published by Johns Hopkins.

"An important book that plows through long-neglected territory."

"Thoughtfully conceived, carefully executed, well written, cautiously interpreted."

"The authors posit nine types of conduct that they view as examples of misconduct and seven inviolable norms that they find in existence in the broad field of instructional service... A serious and useful study of a new field."

"Tools for monitoring and evaluating the behavior of graduate teachers are also provided, in this practical, serious-minded reference and resource that no campus administrator or supervisor should be without."

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