Toward the Professoriate of the Future: Critical Questions for Higher Education and America

December 2008

This essay explores questions and issues regarding faculty identity and motivation, graduate preparation, institutional socialization and professional development, workload and work satisfaction, work and family balance, and an array of institutional relationships. It draws on an understanding of faculty perceptions and needs learned from the development and analysis of results from three national opinion surveys of faculty at various career stages and institutional types over the past decade and the creation of faculty professional development programs responsive to findings from these surveys. The goal is to illuminate the faculty experience in ways that assist colleges and universities to work optimally with faculty members, promoting high satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty, while simultaneously improving academic quality and enhancing the attractiveness of the faculty career.