Each year, hundreds of academics begin new faculty appointments. Some are just launching new careers, while others are advancing to new campuses. As faculty members and their institutions struggle to ease the passage to a new environment, they are faced with critical questions. What are the challenges of the transition process? And how does that process differ for first-time faculty and seasoned faculty? Drawing on a study conducted by researchers at the National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, Faculty in New Jobs shows how faculty and institutions can work together to ease the transition to a new job and facilitate the process of mastering academic work. Robert Menges and his associates offer practical, real-world advice covering all phases of the faculty career-from the difficult early process of settling in, to becoming socially and academically established, to ultimately building the institutional supports necessary for a successful career.The authors provide newcomers with valuable strategies for adapting to campus culture, building professional relationships, establishing a teaching style, and successfully juggling the diverse responsibilities of the faculty role. They also explain what institutions can do to select, support, and evaluate faculty more effectively. They describe the institutional climate that supports effective faculty transitions into and out of academia. They discuss what administrators can do to help faculty better understand and participate in the institutional culture, while also challenging and changing it in positive ways.
ROBERT J. MENGES was professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University, where he also headed the Center for the Teaching Professions.