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ERIC Number: EJ962415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1360-144X
Whisper It Softly, Professors Are Really Academic Developers Too
Macfarlane, Bruce
International Journal for Academic Development, v17 n2 p181-183 2012
The university system has expanded worldwide and with it the number of those holding a full professorial title. Around a third of US academics eventually become full professors, and the title is used still more exclusively in an Australasian and UK context, representing around 10-12% of university faculty. The professoriate undertake a range of leadership and professional support activities connected with research and teaching practice, including acting as mentors, enablers, guardians and ambassadors. Aside from research leadership, mentoring less experienced colleagues is regarded by professors as their most important function. However, there is little evidence that universities and colleges make any systematic use of the organisational development skills of the professoriate. While professors perform a wide range of formal and informal leadership roles externally, it is less clear how their skills are utilised (and perhaps recognised) within their own institutional contexts. The reality is that becoming a professor is about more than just promotion to a higher career grade. Most perceive it as a new role that carries important inter-generational responsibilities for intellectual leadership, regardless of whether they also hold a formal managerial role. Academic development units could do more to tap into this commitment and unlock what the professoriate have to offer but, in so doing, they need to broker their skills with great care. In other words, one had better whisper it softly. Professors might not define themselves primarily as "developers", but in truth, that is--among other things--what most of the best ones actually are.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong; United Kingdom; United States