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The message of new faculty is not new, but their power may be. As the demand for new faculty increases due to retirements and increased enrollments in systems and institutions around the country, large cohorts of tenure-track faculty are being hired. Early-career faculty want what they’ve wanted for many years now: clarity surrounding the tenure process, a workload that is meaningful and manageable, professional development for research and teaching, a hospitable campus climate, a collegial workplace, work-family balance, equity, transparency, and fairness. Many young teacher scholars are interested in collaboration over competition, research that is organized around problems rather than disciplines, and a multidisciplinary work environment shaped by interaction between researchers and users. At the same time, colleges and universities are facing pressures from outside to change what they do, how they do it, and how they measure it—much of this in line with the values and concerns of new faculty cohorts.


The following Brief from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) is a distillation of the work by members of NERCHE's think tanks and projects from a wide range of institutions. NERCHE Briefs emphasize policy implications and action agendas from the point of view of the people who tackle the most compelling issues in higher education in their daily work lives. With support from the Ford Foundation, NERCHE disseminates these pieces to a targeted audience of higher education leaders and media contacts. The Briefs are designed to add critical information and essential voices to the development of higher education policies and the improvement of practice at colleges and universities.


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