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Education & Language - Higher Education | Scholars in the Changing American Academy - New Contexts, New Rules and New Roles

Scholars in the Changing American Academy

New Contexts, New Rules and New Roles

Cummings, William K., Finkelstein, Martin J.

2012, XXVIII, 276 p.

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  • Reports the results of a vital 19-nation international survey of the academic profession
  • Provides fresh comparative data on US faculty attitudes relative to those in other mature and emerging economies worldwide
  • Places recent developments in American higher education in a comparative and historical context
  • Tracks the continuities and changes in faculty personal characteristics (gender, minority status, foreign born), work life, productivity, participation in governance, and satisfaction

As the nature of education generally, and higher education in particular, changes irrevocably, it is crucial to understand the informed opinions of those closest to the institutions of learning. This book, based on a survey of academics in 19 nations and conducted by leading global scholars, is a thorough sounding of the attitudes of academics to their working environment. As the post-WWII liberal consensus crumbles, higher education is increasingly viewed as a private and personal investment in individual social mobility rather than as a public good and, ipso facto, a responsibility of public authorities. The incursion of corporate culture into academe, with its ‘stakeholders’, ‘performance pay’ and obsession with ‘competitiveness’ is a matter of bitter debate, with some arguing that short-termism is obviating epoch-making research which by definition requires patience and persistence in the face of the risk of failure.

This book highlights these and many other key issues facing the academic profession in the US and around the world at the beginning of the 21st century and examines the issues from the perspective of those who are at the front line of change. This group has numerous concerns, not least in the US, where government priorities are shifting with growing budget pressures to core activities such as basic education, health and welfare. Drawing too on comparable surveys conducted in 1992, the book charts the actual contours of change as reflected in the opinions of academics. Critically, the volume explicitly compares and contrasts the situation of American academics with that of academics in other advanced and developing economies. Such an assessment  is critical both for Americans to chart the future of their indigenous tertiary enterprise, but also for shaping the response of the nations around the world who contemplate applying the American model to their own national systems.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Changing Academic Profession (CAP) - US academic profession - academic freedom - academics - globalization - governance - higher education - knowledge-based society - modern university - national and state government - universities and colleges

Related subjects » Education & Language - Higher Education

Table of contents 

Preface.- Acknowledgements.- 1. The Changing Academic Profession in the US.- 2. Concepts and Methods.- 3. The Balance between Teaching and Research in the Work life of American Academics.- 4. Comparing the Research Productivity of U.S Academics.- 5. The “Glass Ceiling” Effect: Does it Characterize the Contemporary US Academy?.- 6. The Internationalization of the U.S. Academy: A Disciplinary Perspective.- 7. Internationalization of Work Content and Professional Networks.- 8. Perspectives on Faculty Governance in the United States.- 9.  Declining Institutional Affiliation.- 10. Conclusion: New Rules and Roles.- Appendix A:   The Changing Academic Profession (CAP) Survey.- Appendix B: CAP Letter of Solicitation.- C: CAP Basic Frequency Tables: US and other Advanced Countries.- Index.

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