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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Academic Identity Experience of Liberal Arts Faculty in the Age of New Managerialism
by Fleming, Tamara Colleen, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2015, 136; 3686940
Abstract (Summary)

Studies suggest that the academic identity of liberal arts faculty is changing due to the introduction and use of new managerialism practices in higher education. Increasingly, faculty members are being asked to take on tasks considered to be outside of traditional teaching, research, and service functions. These tasks are largely administrative in nature, and while previous research has documented some shifts in faculty duties, none has detailed the explicit impacts these shifts have on faculty identity.

This phenomenological study documents how 15 tenured and tenure-track liberal arts faculty members at a well-respected and highly ranked research 1 (R1) university in the Mid-Atlantic region have experienced new managerialism. It tells a story of a faculty devoted not only to research but also to teaching—one that values both the high caliber of undergraduate students and his colleagues and the strong academic tradition and reputation of the institution. The data in some ways paint a portrait of what one would expect to find: faculty members who fervently believe in the intellectual freedom that comes with tenure. At the same time, the data challenge previously held generalisms, such as a faculty member's primary identification with his or her discipline. The study also details concerns about what has been described as the rapidly expanding administrative core of the university—those individuals not primarily focused on conducting research or teaching students.

My conclusions question higher education's societal role and the academy's present challenges and opportunities, and depict faculty members who are clinging to an idealized image of the professoriate of the past and, at the same time, attempting to define their future identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marquardt, Michael J.
Commitee: Cohen, George, Tobey, David
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Academic identity, Faculty identity, Higher education administration, Liberal arts faculty identity, Managerialism in the academy, New managerialism
Publication Number: 3686940
ISBN: 978-1-321-63945-2
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