Edited by David W. Breneman and Paul J. Yakoboski
Chapter 11: Enhancing Faculty Vitality and Institutional Commitment: Smart Leadership in Difficult Times
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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