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The Postmodern Writing Program Administrator
The argument of this collection is that the cultural and intellectual legacies of postmodernism impinge, significantly and daily, on the practice of the Writing Program Administrator. WPAs work in spaces where they must assume responsibility for a multifaceted program, a diverse curriculum, instructors with varying pedagogies and technological expertise—and where they must position their program in relation to a university with its own conflicted mission, and a state with its unpredictable views of accountability and assessment.
The collection further argues that postmodernism offers a useful lens through which to understand the work of WPAs and to examine the discordant cultural and institutional issues that shape their work. Each chapter tackles a problem local to its author’s writing program or experience as a WPA, and each responds to existing discord in creative ways that move toward rebuilding and redirection.
It is a given that accepting the role of WPA will land you squarely in the bind between modernism and postmodernism: while composition studies as a field arguably still reflects a modernist ethos, the WPA must grapple daily with postmodern habits of thought and ways of being. The effort to live in this role may or may not mean that a WPA will adopt a postmodern stance; it does mean, however, that being a WPA requires dealing with the postmodern.
Hong Kong University During the War Years
In this volume, dedicated to the memory of Hong Kong University students, faculty and members of the Court who lost their lives as a result of hostilities in the Far East during 1941-1945, we ask what happened to the University during those years of Japanese occupation when there was only the shell of a campus left standing on Pokfulam Road.
Identities, Leadership, and Change in Public Higher Education
Through their interviews with faculty and administrators (from department chairs and deans to provosts and presidents) from a sample of eight public universities in the Northeast and their own experiences in both worlds, the authors provide a unique window into the life experiences and identities of those who struggle to make universities work. The book examines the culture of academic institutions and attempts to understand why change in public higher education is so difficult to accomplish.
Many faculty believe that one of their own who becomes an administrator has gone over to "the dark side." One provost recalled going for a beer with a faculty colleague and hearing the colleague complain about the latest memo "from the administration." He had to remind his friend of many years that he was the author of the offending document. Now he was "the administration." He realized that former colleagues now appeared in his office wearing suits and ties and referring to him by his title rather than his first name.
The disciplines serve as the tribes into which individual scholars are organized; the discipline is where a faculty member finds his community and identity. Administrators, on the other hand, identify with each other in trying to get the tribes to work together. Though most administrators came from the faculty ranks, their career paths take a different shape, especially in terms of mobility to another institution. It's not surprising that the two groups talk past each other.
A chapter is devoted to chairs of departments, who occupy an interesting middle ground. To their faculty, they can come across as a nurturing parent or a petty bureaucrat. The authors recommend training for chairs and administrative internships offered by the American Council on Education and other organizations.
The men and women on the campuses of the public universities described in the book make clear the challenges that universities face in terms of budgets, legislative politics, collective bargaining, rankings, and control of academic programs. If public institutions are truly to serve a public purpose, faculty and administrators must find ways to engage each other in shared conversation and management and find ways of engaging the university with the community.
American colleges and universities simultaneously face large numbers of faculty retirements and expanding enrollments. Budget constraints have led colleges and universities to substitute part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty for tenure-track faculty, and the demand for faculty members will likely be high in the decade ahead.
This heightened demand is coming at a time when the share of American college graduates who go on for PhD study is far below its historic high. The declining interest of American students in doctoral programs is due to many factors, including long completion times, low completion rates, the high cost of doctoral education, and the decline in the share of faculty positions that are tenured or on the tenure track. In short, doctoral education is in crisis because the impediments are many and the rewards are few; students often choose instead to enroll in professional programs that result in more marketable credentials.
In Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future, scientists, social scientists, academic administrators, and policymakers describe their efforts to increase and improve the supply of future faculty. They cover topics ranging from increasing undergraduate interest in doctoral study to improving the doctoral experience and the participation of underrepresented groups in doctoral education.
The Story of the South Africa Norway Tertiary Education Development Programme
Driving Change tells a story that exemplifies a basic law of physics, known to all ñ the application of a relatively small lever can shift weight, create movement and initiate change far in excess of its own size. It tells a story about a particular instance of development cooperation, relatively modest in scope and aim that has nonetheless achieved remarkable things and has been held up as an exemplar of its kind. It does not tell a story of flawless execution and perfectly achieved outcomes: it is instead a narrative that gives some insight into the structural and organisational arrangements, the institutional and individual commitments, and above all, the work, intelligence and passion of its participants, which made the SANTED Programme a noteworthy success.
The Rise of For-Profit Universities
Earnings from Learning examines the historical and contemporary factors that have fueled the rise of postsecondary for-profit, degree-granting institutions as a dynamic and powerful force in education. The contributors focus on such institutions as the University of Phoenix, DeVry, and Strayer to present theoretically grounded and data-driven research from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. They document unprecedented shifts in the postsecondary political economy and landscape and evaluate the implications for nonprofit institutions, including understanding the public and private benefits of higher education, postsecondary access and success, institutional resource allocation, competition, governance, and technology.
Doctoral Education in the Humanities
Despite the worldwide prestige of America's doctoral programs in the humanities, all is not well in this area of higher education and hasn't been for some time. The content of graduate programs has undergone major changes, while high rates of student attrition, long times to degree, and financial burdens prevail. In response, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1991 launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI), the largest effort ever undertaken to improve doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences. The only book to focus exclusively on the current state of doctoral education in the humanities, Educating Scholars reports on the GEI's success in reducing attrition and times to degree, the positive changes implemented by specific graduate programs, and the many challenges still to be addressed.
Over a ten-year period, the Foundation devoted almost eighty-five million dollars through the GEI to provide support for doctoral programs and student aid in fifty-four departments at ten leading universities. The authors examine data that tracked the students in these departments and in control departments, as well as information gathered from a retrospective survey of students. They reveal that completion and attrition rates depend upon financial support, the quality of advising, clarity of program requirements, and each department's expectations regarding the dissertation. The authors consider who earns doctoral degrees, what affects students' chances of finishing their programs, and how successful they are at finding academic jobs.
Answering some of the most important questions being raised about American doctoral programs today, Educating Scholars will interest all those concerned about our nation's intellectual future.
Primary school enrollment has nearly tripled in Mali since 1991, when the country made its first transition to multiparty democracy. Jaimie Bleck explores the effect of this expanded access to education by analyzing the relationship between parents’ and students’ respective experiences with schooling and their current participation in politics. In a nation characterized both by the declining quality of public education and by a growing number of accredited private providers, does education contribute substantially to the political knowledge and participation of its citizens? Are all educational institutions (public and private, Islamic and secular) equally capable of shaping democratic citizens? Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali is informed by Bleck’s original survey of one thousand citizens, which she conducted in Mali before the 2012 coup d’état, along with exit polls and interviews with parents, students, and educators. Her results demonstrate conclusively that education of any type plays an important role in empowering citizens as democratic agents. Simply put, students know more about politics than peers who have not attended school. Education also appears to bolster participation of parents. Bleck finds that parents who send their children to public school are more likely to engage in electoral politics than other Malian citizens. Furthermore, Bleck demonstrates that increasing levels of education are associated with increases in more engaged forms of political participation, including campaigning, willingness to run for office, and contacting government officials.