Among the many different kinds of institutes of higher education, those known as state comprehensive universities (SCUs) have traditionally been the most neglected and stigmatized in comparison to traditional liberal arts and research universities and colleges. However, these institutions, many with historical roots in normal schools and state teachers colleges, have graduated a high percentage of students each year. Morevover, SCUs have been willing to provide practical, job-oriented degrees in many fields from education to the health sciences. In many ways, it is these universities that have made college degrees available to the masses-they have been and are the people's universities. A high and increasing percentage of America's college professors and administrators work at SCUs, yet there are no available resources specifically for newly hired faculty at these institutions, which have characteristics unique from the major research universities where many faculty obtained their graduate educations. This book introduces the newcomer to the state comprehensive university and how working there is similar and different from working at other institutions of higher education.
Based on the author's 30 of years teaching at SCUs, this book is a guide to a different culture. It discusses the particular aspects and special problems faculty encounter at SCUs: the differences in student body, size, funding, and student selection and retention rate. It reveals the benefit of working in an environment that emphasizes teaching over research, and dispels some of the negative and misleading assumptions about academic life at SCUs, helping new faculty avoid role conflict and adapt their expectations to forge rewarding careers that benefit their students and their institutions.
Table of Contents
About the Author. Preface. 1 Introduction: Distinctive Features of the State Comprehensive University. 2 Roots of SCUs: A History of Diversity. 3 Status and Prestige at SCUs. 4 Creating Little Harvards: Research and Scholarship at SCUs. 5 Academic Life at SCUs. 6 Campus Community. 7 Threats and Opportunities at SCUs: A Murky Crystal Ball. Appendix: Self-Help for New Professors: A Sampler. Bibliography. Index.
Bruce B. Henderson is professor of psychology at Western Carolina University. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from Bucknell University and a doctorate in child psychology from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development. He has received the Botner Superior Teaching Award and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Most of his publications have focused on the development of children's curiosity, memory development, or ways to improve teaching. He participated in the American Psychological Association's St. Mary's Conference on Undergraduate Education and Alverno College's Critical Thinking Network. The Spencer Foundation and the Foundation for Child Development are among the sources that have supported his research. He has worked on a variety of research and training projects with the University of Houston, Northern Kentucky University, the Yale University Child Study Center, the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.