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ERIC Number: EJ809697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
The Academic Generation Gap
Dronzek, Anna
Academe, v94 n4 p41-44 Jul-Aug 2008
The current generation gap in academia is different--fundamentally shaped by the structural problems of academic employment. The job market has especially exacerbated tensions between senior and junior faculty by ratcheting up expectations and requirements at every stage of the academic career. The disparities have been mentioned often enough to achieve the status of cliche: in an era in which even undergraduates are expected to have presented and, in many fields, published papers in order simply to gain admittance to graduate school, the publishing expectations for junior faculty are higher than they were for senior faculty at the same stage of their careers. Some junior faculty have more publications when they are appointed than the full professors in their departments had when they received tenure, and those juniors will need to generate more before those same full professors will review their cases for tenure. Moreover, to some junior faculty it feels like the process that they endured to get an academic job was much more difficult than what their senior colleagues faced; while this is by no means universally true, there are still senior faculty who got jobs because their advisers made a few phone calls--the simplest of paths, and one closed to junior faculty today. The author's point in raising these differences is not to award brownie points to junior faculty or to criticize the senior, or vice versa. Neither senior nor junior faculty can be blamed if mission creep, as well as the glut of the job market, means that schools formerly focused exclusively on teaching have decided now that they want their professors to do research as well. More importantly, because junior faculty face higher research expectations does not mean that they necessarily work harder than senior faculty; they just work differently. In this article, the author contends that differences in junior and senior faculty experiences are undeniable. And out of these differences conflicts seem to arise most strongly around three issues: (1) loyalty; (2) community; and (3) identity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A