'Drivel' on Faculty Professional Development

July 2, 2020

I still can’t believe that you abandoned comments for this approach, but kk, as the kids say.

And worse, you abandoned them just in time to give us a piece ("Supporting Faculty Careers Amid Uncertainty," July 2) that presents us with this drivel:

In addition to innovating around faculty’s access to data, colleges and universities need to provide professional development for faculty that is focused on individual career success and, as a result, their students’ successes. The common use of professional development funds to attend disciplinary conferences does little to support individual career success. Instead, opportunities for career counseling in the form of individualized development plans, mentoring, learning communities and grants to pursue research and teaching innovations are important to keep all faculty motivated, progressing and supporting institutional strategic goals.

Most insultingly of all, this is published under the headline “supporting faculty careers amid uncertainty.”

I have zero interest in sitting with a career counselor to form an individualized development plan. I don’t need a university approved learning community. And my career as an academic is not, in point of fact, dedicated to supporting my institution’s so-called strategic goals, which will, in any event, be discarded as soon as another cohort of fresh administrators arrives on campus.

Continued institutional support for faculty attendance at discipline specific conferences is vital. It does support my academic goals, my career development, and, though the authors would certainly be surprised to hear it, even my teaching.

How pathetic of the authors to assume the opposite and how sad that IHE thought to give them a platform for their views after taking away out ability as readers to push back, quickly and publicly.

--Rebecca Edwards

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