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The Essential College Professor: A Practical Guide to an Academic Career

ISBN: 978-0-470-37373-6
428 pages
December 2009, Jossey-Bass
The Essential College Professor: A Practical Guide to an Academic Career (0470373733) cover image


The Essential College Professor is about the "how" and "why" of being a faculty member today. Based on the author's series of highly successful faculty development workshops, each chapter deals concisely with the most important information college professors need at their fingertips when confronted by a particular challenge or faced with an exciting opportunity. Written both as a comprehensive guide to an academic career and as a ready reference to be consulted whenever needed, The Essential College Professor emphasizes proven solutions over untested theories and stresses what faculty members have to know now in order to be successful in their careers.

Each chapter is concluded by a short exercise that faculty members can perform to help them, for instance, completely revise a course by restructuring the syllabus and course materials, bring new life to a research project by reframing it as a book proposal or grant application, and so on.
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Table of Contents

The Author.


Part I: The College Professor's Career.

1. Applying for a Faculty Position.

2. Interviewing for a Faculty Position.

3. What Kind of Professor Are You?

4. Career Planning for College Professors.

5. The Tenure and Promotion Process.

6. Special Challenges for Junior Faculty.

7. Special Challenges for Mid-Career Faculty.

8. Special Challenges for Senior Faculty.

9. Taking the Next Step in Your Career.

Part II: The College Professor as Teacher.

10. Assessing Student Learning.

11. Writing an Effective Course Syllabus.

12. Developing Creative Course Materials.

13. Teaching Small Classes.

14. Teaching Large Classes.

15. Teaching One-on-One.

16. Teaching with Technology.

17. Reducing Grade Anxiety.

18. Promoting Student Engagement.

19. Addressing Academic Misconduct.

20. Maintaining Appropriate Faculty-Student Relations.

21. Dealing with Student Problems and Problem Students.

22. Taking the Next Step in Your Teaching.

Part III: The College Professor as Scholar.

23. Writing a Grant Proposal.

24. Writing a Book Proposal.

25. Overcoming Research Block.

26. Balancing Scholarship with Other Duties.

27. Seeking and Providing Peer Support for Scholarship.

28. Alternative Forms of Scholarship.

29. Taking the Next Step in Your Scholarship.

Part IV: The College Professor as Citizen.

30. Service Reconsidered.

31. Creating an Effective Curriculum Vitae.

32. Seeking Leadership Positions.

33. Serving on Committees.

34. Serving as an Academic Advisor.

35. Serving as a Mentor.

36. Handling Conflict with a Supervisor.

37. Handling Conflict with Colleagues.

38. The Faculty Member as Fundraiser.

39. Exploring the Possibility of Administrative Work.

40. Taking the Next Step in Your Service.

Epilogue: A Checklist for the Essential College Professor.

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Author Information

Jeffrey L. Buller is dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida

Atlantic University and author of The Essential Department Chair and The Essential Academic Dean.

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