Smart Leadership for Higher Education in Difficult Times
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Smart Leadership for Higher Education in Difficult Times

Edited by David W. Breneman and Paul J. Yakoboski

As the US economy emerges from the severest recession in a generation, large questions regarding its long-term ramifications for higher education remain unanswered. In fact, the harshest effects of the economic downturn are likely ahead as campus leadership focuses on enrollment, affordability and fundraising. This volume of essays examines the challenges and opportunities for advancing higher education’s core missions of education, research and service in a resource-constrained environment.
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Chapter 11: Enhancing Faculty Vitality and Institutional Commitment: Smart Leadership in Difficult Times

Devorah Lieberman


Devorah Lieberman SECURING AND SUSTAINING FACULTY COMMITMENT As a living organism with its students serving as the lifeblood, the faculty as the soul, and the administration at the head, a college or university is constantly refining and shaping its values and its culture as it adapts to a rapidly changing environ for higher education. But, perhaps the most critical element within that organism for affecting such culture change is its soul: the faculty. It is that culture that that drives the reputation that attracts human, political, and economic capital and commitment on which the success of every institution rests. The better we invest in, protect and nurture our faculty, the better able we will be to meet our institutional missions and to reach beyond our strategic goals. All institutions seek to recruit and retain permanent and adjunct faculty who are motivated to teach, to pursue scholarship and research, and to personally invest themselves in the life of the institution and its extended communities. The job of developing a faculty, though, does not end with a successful hire, or a promotion, or a tenure decision. It is the beginning of a process that needs to continue throughout each faculty member’s career. The effort to engage faculty in their own professional and personal growth should occur throughout the institution, at all levels, irrespective of good times or bad. This begins with assessment of academic needs, continues through the recruitment of an appropriately talented and diverse professoriate, and incorporates professional development that fosters...

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