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ERIC Number: EJ857655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
The Graying Professoriat
Gilroy, Marilyn
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v74 n5 p62-64 Jan 2009
"The graying of the professoriat," a catchphrase that refers to the increase in the number of full-time faculty working beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, is sparking concern in colleges and universities. The trend is affecting four- and two-year schools and raising questions about the teaching effectiveness, productivity, and vitality of older faculty. Colleges and universities are developing plans to help them manage faculty retirement. In what might be considered an ironic twist, data also indicate the average age of new postsecondary-level hires is increasing. One factor in the increasing average age of new hires is that it often takes longer to earn the advanced degrees needed for college-level teaching. In addition, many institutions find that the applicant pool for new positions often includes middle-aged candidates who are coming to college teaching as a second career. It is not uncommon for individuals who are 50-plus to be hired for tenure-track lines at two- and four-year college. Writing in "Inside High Education," Rob Weir suggested educational and economic advantages for hiring faculty over 50 instead of searching for newly minted Ph.D.s. Younger professors are busy focusing on research, publishing, and committee work that is critical to the tenure decision. By contrast, older faculty generally have honed their teaching skill and feel more confident and secure. They also usually have more experience in resolving classroom conflicts and discipline problems.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A