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The Journal of Higher Education 77.1 (2006) i-ii

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Moving Into the Next 75 Years

"Begun in 1930 with $4,350 granted by The Ohio State University Board of Trustees and an initial circulation of 839, the Journal has been provided with significant financial, intellectual, and psychological resources from a large number of administrators and faculty of The Ohio State University and has had the active support of many of the field who serve unpaid as members of its editorial board and as manuscript referees.

Accompanying the hospitality has been absolute editorial freedom. The university has been a caring and responsible patron and has assisted the Journal in serving its commitment, outlined in its initial editorial statement: 'to bring to its constituency reports of the most significant investigations in the instructional, administrative, personnel, and curricular problems in all branches of higher learning.'"

With these words, Robert Silverman ended his "Editorial Comment" which introduced the special Fiftieth Anniversary issue of the Journal. The same comments apply today. The university has remained a constant supporter of the Journal, and complete editorial freedom remains. As the topics and disciplinary perspectives of the manuscripts submitted to the Journal have expanded, so has the number and scope of the reviewers. The Journal's success in reflecting the highest standards of scholarship and analysis is due to them, and I would like to personally thank them for their fine work.

As noted in the special 70th Anniversary issue, the topics in the Journal and the perspectives brought to them have unsurprisingly changed over the decades. Now as we move into the next 75 years of the Journal, we can expect even more change. Although many aspects of higher education will probably change in the years ahead, two that seem particularly critical are the role of faculty and the need to respond to an increasingly diverse society. The changes in faculty demographics, hiring patterns, autonomy, teaching approaches, contractual duties, salary and benefits already seem likely to continue into the future. Thus, this issue focuses on some of the changes in the nature of faculty work, framed within some general perspectives. It may be useful to consider faculty in relationship to the mission of the university, as discussed by Scott, and within the context of higher education scholarship and feminism, as analyzed by Hart. Levin provides a careful study of the economic and educational forces that affect faculty work. Bland and her colleagues examine the influence of appointment type on faculty productivity and [End Page i] commitment. Rosser and Townsend consider the factors influencing the retention of faculty in two year colleges.

As Garcia and Baird (2000) noted in the special Journal of Higher Education issue on The Shape of Diversity ". . . today's panorama of diversity issues include race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. . . . In their attempts to become microcosms of the larger society, colleges and universities must constantly underscore the importance of diversity in higher education" (p.v). Some indications of how higher education is responding to these changes can be seen in the ways in which faculty incorporate diversity related content into their courses, as examined by Mayhew and Grunwald, and the range of diversity experiences within liberal arts colleges, as analyzed by Umbach and Kuh.

Although the future is impossible to predict with certainty some general trends seem likely to continue, such as different roles for faculty and the need for productive responses to the diversity of the nation. Through the studies and analyses of its contributors and the acumen of its reviewers, the Journal of Higher Education will attempt to provide thoughtful and intellectually rigorous commentary on the changes ahead.

Editors of the Journal of Higher Education

W. W. Charters (January 1930-December 1942)

R. H. Eckelberry (January 1943-June 1960)

Robert D. Patton (October 1960-June 1964)

Franklin J. Pegues (October 1964-October 1966)

C. Grey Austin (November 1966-June 1970)

Robert J. Silverman (October 1970-August 1994)

Leonard L. Baird (September 1994-present)



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pp. i-ii
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