"Academy at Work" focus for the 2006 Thought & Action Journal.
Call for Papers Date:
A myriad of questions surround the academy as a workplace in the early years of the 21st Century. Work for almost all Americans has changed for the worse over the past decades—low-paying service jobs have replaced good paying manufacturing jobs as the mainstay of the economy; fewer and fewer employers provide health and pension benefits—and our campuses are not immune. The traditional full-time, tenured professorship as an employment category has been in steep decline for decades, while lower paying academic staff positions and the campus contingent workforce grow. Full-time, tenure-line faculty members now represent only one-third of the academic workforce. Pay for full-time faculty and staff is stagnant, while pay for contingent educators is woefully inadequate. Employer-paid pensions and health insurance are under attack everywhere, and accountability measures proposed by many legislatures are little more than transparent attempts to weaken the autonomy professors have traditionally had in their work. But issues of pay, benefits, and job security—the traditional purview of higher education unions—while crucially important to the quality of life of those who work in higher education are only part of the picture.
Equally important are questions involving academic work itself. How we teach and whom we teach can no longer be taken for granted. Legislators, pundits, and the media question the effectiveness of college teaching in general. Forces outside the academy propose performance standards for the college classroom. Within the academy itself, proponents of new approaches to teaching question the efficacy of traditional teaching strategies. Politicians and college administrators increasingly challenge the tradition of faculty control of the curriculum.
For the 2006 Thought & Action we are looking for manuscripts to answer questions such as: What have we in the academy done on our own behalf to strengthen the academic professions and what should we be doing to help shape the academy’s future?
Con Lehane, Editor
NEA Higher Education Publications
1201 16th Street NW
Washington D.C. 20036-3290
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