In View of Academic Careers and Career-Making Scholars
Innovative Ideas for Institutional Reform
This volume connects career making to the general social context in which it takes place, careermaking individuals to the large institutional establishment in which they operate, and specifically career academicians to the overall knowledge enterprise from which they draw their intellectual inspiration, on which they build their career achievements, and to which they contribute their personal talents. The main purpose is to explore what academic institutions, the knowledge enterprise, and the society as a whole can and ought to do to enhance productivity, facilitate performance, and improve experience of individual academicians in their career-making endeavor. Although various innovative ideas are presented to improve normal procedures or standard processes throughout academia, answers to this focal question often lie in different levels of organizational units involved in academic operation. That is, what should a department do for its faculty, a college for its departments, a university for its colleges, an association for its member organizations, or a government for its academic institutions, in the best interest of the latter? Similarly, although reformative measures are proposed to the attention of established entities or institutionalized systems, change within the existing situation or practice to a large degree depends upon how people in various social roles relate to each other, in attitude as well as in behavior, when they perform their specific job. In other words, what should a professor do for graduate students, a senior scholar for junior colleagues, a chair for faculty members, a dean for chairs, a university chancellor for deans, an editor for authors, or an association president for the general membership, from the due perspective of the latter?
The logic or legitimacy of examining this focal question and its organizational unit and social role is clear: a shining academician owes much to the support of his or her assistants, students, and followers, a rising university builds on the productivity of its individual divisions, and a thriving knowledge enterprise depends upon the success of individual career-making scholars. Beyond its own functionality and success, by division of labor, the higher level or the larger system has an inescapable responsibility to ensure that individual players or components therein grow, develop, and perform to the best of their potential.
In content, this volume consists of sixteen chapters. Chapter 1 identifies main pathways and stages in academic careers. Chapters 2–5 focuses on the career process, exploring major requirements that an academician has to work on and fulfill in his or her career-making endeavor. These requirements include educational preparation, job search, institutional placement, and professional networking. Chapters 6–15 centers on the career structure, examining essential elements that a scholar has to build and maintain in his or her career identity. These elements range from the academic degree, position, publication, teaching, presentation, service, grants, awards, and membership in academic associations, to tenure. The last chapter capitalizes on the curriculum vitae as a miniature of the academic personality that a career professional must present to the community of scholarship.
"Shaw's readers will have a chance to reflect on the course their career pathways have taken, the challenges they have faced, and those that still lie ahead through the pages of this book." Sharon L. Sherman in Education Review
"Shaw has successfully compiled major sociological perspectives for explaining a general academic career making pathway. In one volume he provides an overview of almost all the fundamental issues involved in an academic career. With a clear focus on change, Shaw gives inspiration for creative innovation and provides a blueprint for institutional reform. This book is a helpful desk reference from which both individuals and institutions can develop more informed ideas of future operations in negotiating a path to career success." Minmin Fan Seton Hall University in Education Review
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