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ERIC Number: ED532982
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr-27
Pages: 43
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
Rethinking the Professoriate
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Paper prepared for the American Enterprise Institute "Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education" (Washington, D.C., Jun 2010)
The American higher education system faces tremendous pressure to enhance access and graduation rates. In a period of increasing financial difficulties, how will our nation's higher education institutions achieve these goals and how will they recruit faculty and staff their classes in the future? The answers to these questions, which are the focus of this paper, will likely vary across different types of higher education institutions and will reflect the nature of the classes that they offer and the types of students that they educate. The author begins his discussion with a description of the changes in the staffing patterns that have occurred in American higher education over the last 35 to 40 years, a period marked by declining use of full-time tenured and tenure track faculty, and discusses the reasons for these changes and their implications for the professoriate and for undergraduate students. Next he focuses on how and why our nation's research universities have increased their use of full-time non tenure-track faculty. This is followed by a discussion of efforts to use technology to restructure how we educate undergraduate students and the implications of these efforts for the composition of academia's instructional staff. He then turns to a discussion of what private nonprofit and public institutions can learn from the rapidly expanding for-profit higher education system about "delivering" instruction and staffing courses, and then how improvements in "system effectiveness" will impact on who will educate American college students. While economists are not well-known for the accuracy of their long-run forecasts, he concludes by venturing some thoughts about what the future will bring for American higher education and the professoriate. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables and 46 footnotes.)
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. ILR-Cornell University 273 Ives Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Tel: 607-255-4424; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI)