This volume reviews and synthesizes recent research on faculty demographics, appointment types, work life, and reward systems, as well as major theoretical perspectives useful to researchers who study faculty work, careers, and professional development. In doing so, it advances and challenges current dialogue on faculty careers, notably by exploring a "narrative of constraint" that underlies much contemporary research and reform in higher education. Although highlighting the valuable ways whereby the "narrative of constraint" has illuminated the myriad barriers than can--and too often do--inhibit faculty careers, the authors assert that the theme of "constraint" obscures possibility, learning, agency, and growth. In emphasizing constraint, many contemporary research and reform efforts overlook faculty striving for growth. The volume reintroduces growth as an important consideration in higher education discourses of policy and practice, and with attention to four of its key aspects: learning, agency, professional relationships, and commitments.
The authors discuss current research on faculty demographics, appointments, work, reward systems, along with theories used in research, relative to these four aspects of growth. They also discuss how attention to faculty growth my open up new directions for policy, public communication, and future research on higher education faculty. This is the third issue in the 34th volume of the Jossey-Bass series ASHE Higher Education Report. Each monograph in the series is the definitive analysis of a tough higher education problem, based on thorough research of pertinent literature and institutional experiences. Topics are identified by a national survey. Noted practitioners and scholars are then commissioned to write the reports, with experts providing critical reviews of each manuscript before publication.