ERIC Number: EJ996477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 14
The Future of Faculty Development: Where Are We Going?
Austin, Ann E.; Sorcinelli, Mary Deane
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n133 p85-97 Spr 2013
Faculty development has been evolving in focus and form over the past five decades. Originally organized around sabbatical leaves, faculty development now offers a wide array of programs and involves a growing body of highly professional, deeply dedicated professionals. As both faculty members and faculty developers with over fifty collective years of experience in higher education in the United States and internationally, the authors believe faculty development is a key strategic lever for ensuring institutional quality and supporting institutional change in higher education. With higher education institutions and the faculty within them facing new challenges and opportunities, what is the future of faculty development? In this article, readers are pointed to innovations in faculty development that are appearing on the horizon, in the context of changes and challenges confronting higher education institutions. Thoughts about the structures and processes in the practice of faculty development that need attention and some of the pressing issues in the field as a profession are shared. This analysis is drawn from the authors' previous research and writing, as well as the work of others, concerning academic work and workplaces, faculty careers, and faculty development. In particular, this article draws substantially on findings from an in-depth study of faculty development professionals in North America. In that study, developers from the United States and Canada who were members of the oldest and largest professional association for faculty development scholars and practitioners in North America, the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, were surveyed. Formed in 1974, POD's membership currently includes faculty developers from some forty countries, with the largest membership in the United States and Canada. From its outset, POD's purpose has been to support improvement in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development activities. In this article, findings of the study are drawn from to highlight the issues that should be addressed through faculty development in the future. A few issues concerning the study require special note. The survey was sent to the full POD mailing list of members (999 names). Completed surveys were received from 494 developers at 300 higher education institutions in the United States and 31 institutions in Canada, resulting in an overall response rate to the survey of 50 percent. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents were men, and 61 percent were women. Understandably, this census of faculty developers does not necessarily represent the scope and proportion of all faculty developers, but it is representative of the membership of the field's largest professional organization in North America.
Descriptors: Higher Education, College Faculty, Organizational Development, Organizational Change, Foreign Countries, Faculty Development, Professional Associations, Response Rates (Questionnaires), Teacher Surveys, Context Effect, Accountability, Student Diversity, Technological Advancement, Technology Uses in Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role, Technology Integration, Leadership, Educational Administration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; North America; United States