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Structural Support to Enhance Scholarly Productivity of Faculty
Unformatted Document Text:  Structural Support for Enhancing Scholarly Productivity of Faculty Section I: Content Scholarly pressures on faculty members in schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDEs) often come from two conflicting interest groups. More than any other academic area of a university, the faculty members in education find themselves subject to the accusation from the public that they are too theoretical or removed from the classroom. Research from SCDEs is represented as irrelevant and a waste of time; critics argue that resources should be dedicated to heavy teaching loads. At the same time, forces within the academy often accuse the same faculty members as being too applied, not rigorous enough, or atheoretical. One potential consequence of this dilemma is uncertainty among education faculty members as to the value of their research. The leadership in a school, college, or department of education is responsible to set the direction and the value of such research. This session explores how a new model of leadership, including structural support for research, can contribute both to the success of faculty members and to the capacity of the unit to influence the future direction of teacher education. Evidence from field suggests that faculty members in SCDEs do not have the same research focus as other faculty members. For example, education faculty members spend an average of 13.1% of their time on research activities. In contrast, faculty members in agriculture/home economics (30.7%), engineering, (28.1%), and natural sciences (29.1%) all spend significantly more time conducting research (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1997). As might be expected, this differential time investment leads to a difference in productivity, with College of Education faculty members publishing, on average, 1.3 refereed articles and .5 books and book chapters per year, while engineering/natural sciences faculty members produce 3.7 refereed publications and .5 books and book chapters per year (NCES, 1997). Simply raising standards for scholarly productivity can generate resistance and resentment, thus increasing the “identity crisis” of education faculty. Another approach to this challenge focuses on the development of faculty members’ self-efficacy (Bandura, 1982) and the fit between the working world and the motivation of faculty members (see Hackman & Oldham, 1980). While most new faculty members demonstrate high degrees of self-confidence in their teaching skills, they also report that adjusting to academic life leaves them very little time to write (Boice, 2000), and this tendency may be exaggerated in SCDEs, where the strongest professional reinforcement comes from teaching, as opposed to research activity. In addition, faculty members experience a socialization into scholarship that is typically isolated and individual, reducing opportunities for learning from one another (Ruben, 2004). Bolman and Deal (1991) describe several “frames” for leadership as a means of understanding the varied points of influence for leaders. While all of these perspectives add valuable insight for SCDE leadership, the “symbolic” frame is particularly important in a context where the identity of faculty members as researchers is uncertain. Thus, one means of addressing this identity crisis is for the leadership of an SCDE to assert the value of research by means of creating structural support and incentives. The leadership team of one college of education set out to enhance the scholarly productivity of faculty members through the creation of a set of structural supports for research. After determining needs and interests through a survey of the faculty and staff, the leadership team created a multi-faceted support system for scholarly activity. The

Authors: Kain, Daniel., Denzine, Gypsy. and Martin, William.
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Structural Support for Enhancing Scholarly Productivity of Faculty
Section I: Content
Scholarly pressures on faculty members in schools, colleges, and departments of
education (SCDEs) often come from two conflicting interest groups. More than any
other academic area of a university, the faculty members in education find themselves
subject to the accusation from the public that they are too theoretical or removed from the
classroom. Research from SCDEs is represented as irrelevant and a waste of time; critics
argue that resources should be dedicated to heavy teaching loads. At the same time,
forces within the academy often accuse the same faculty members as being too applied,
not rigorous enough, or atheoretical. One potential consequence of this dilemma is
uncertainty among education faculty members as to the value of their research. The
leadership in a school, college, or department of education is responsible to set the
direction and the value of such research. This session explores how a new model of
leadership, including structural support for research, can contribute both to the success of
faculty members and to the capacity of the unit to influence the future direction of teacher
education.
Evidence from field suggests that faculty members in SCDEs do not have the
same research focus as other faculty members. For example, education faculty members
spend an average of 13.1% of their time on research activities. In contrast, faculty
members in agriculture/home economics (30.7%), engineering, (28.1%), and natural
sciences (29.1%) all spend significantly more time conducting research (National Center
for Educational Statistics, 1997). As might be expected, this differential time investment
leads to a difference in productivity, with College of Education faculty members
publishing, on average, 1.3 refereed articles and .5 books and book chapters per year,
while engineering/natural sciences faculty members produce 3.7 refereed publications
and .5 books and book chapters per year (NCES, 1997).
Simply raising standards for scholarly productivity can generate resistance and
resentment, thus increasing the “identity crisis” of education faculty. Another approach
to this challenge focuses on the development of faculty members’ self-efficacy (Bandura,
1982) and the fit between the working world and the motivation of faculty members (see
Hackman & Oldham, 1980). While most new faculty members demonstrate high degrees
of self-confidence in their teaching skills, they also report that adjusting to academic life
leaves them very little time to write (Boice, 2000), and this tendency may be exaggerated
in SCDEs, where the strongest professional reinforcement comes from teaching, as
opposed to research activity. In addition, faculty members experience a socialization into
scholarship that is typically isolated and individual, reducing opportunities for learning
from one another (Ruben, 2004).
Bolman and Deal (1991) describe several “frames” for leadership as a means of
understanding the varied points of influence for leaders. While all of these perspectives
add valuable insight for SCDE leadership, the “symbolic” frame is particularly important
in a context where the identity of faculty members as researchers is uncertain. Thus, one
means of addressing this identity crisis is for the leadership of an SCDE to assert the
value of research by means of creating structural support and incentives.
The leadership team of one college of education set out to enhance the scholarly
productivity of faculty members through the creation of a set of structural supports for
research. After determining needs and interests through a survey of the faculty and staff,
the leadership team created a multi-faceted support system for scholarly activity. The


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