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What Ever Happened to the Faculty?

, 272 pages
October 2006



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What Ever Happened to the Faculty?

Drift and Decision in Higher Education

In this provocative work, Mary Burgan surveys the deterioration of faculty influence in higher education. From campus planning, curriculum, and instructional technology to governance, pedagogy, and academic freedom, she urges far greater consideration for the perspective of the faculty.

Burgan evokes the pervasive atmosphere of charge and counter-charge on U.S. campuses, where competition trumps reason not only in athletics but also in research, faculty recruitment, and fund-raising. Relating this "winner-take-all" mentality to the overspecialization of faculty and to overreliance on non-tenure track instructors, Burgan suggests that improving life on campus depends on faculty members' successful engagement with their administrative colleagues as well as their students.

Informed by experience, fueled by conviction, and full of practical, strategic advice for the future, What Ever Happened to the Faculty? is an excellent resource for administrators and faculty who are eager to change the tone and trajectory of contemporary higher education.

Mary Burgan is former General Secretary of the American Association of University Professors, a professor of English emerita at Indiana University–Bloomington, and author of Illness, Gender, and Writing: The Case of Katherine Mansfield, also published by Johns Hopkins.

"Well written... The benefit of the book is its bringing together of key themes in the current debate and providing a spirited discussion."

"Burgan has a gift for telling stories and offering reasonable arguments in an engaging, compelling way."

"Full of interesting anecdotes and personal experience."

"An important book in understanding how the traditional rights and responsibilities of university faculty have been eroded... Burgan's wide experience makes her particularly effective in developing her argument."

"Her extensive academic and administrative background informs this insightful examination of the declining faculty influence in campus affairs and, more broadly, higher education."

"Mary Burgan has provided us with a wake-up call about the responsibilities of the professoriate and has given us practical lessons for exercising those responsibilities. We would be wise to heed her advice."

"Mary Burgan's fresh look at campus governance provides a ray of hope for the future of the faculty's role in higher education. She draws effectively from her own university experience plus her leadership in the AAUP to show how both old and new customs in academic life can be substantive in the 21st century. This book will help higher education become a brave, new world in the best sense."

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