Blackstone/Gardner Article: Faculty Agency in Applying for Promotion to Professor

Professors Susan Gardner, UMaine Higher Education, and Amy Blackstone, sociology, co-authored an article on the experiences of faculty who were rejected or dissuaded when going up for promotion to full professor that has just come out in the Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education:

Faculty Agency in Applying for Promotion to Professor

In 2014, 182,414 individuals held the rank of professor or “full professor” in the United States – or 36% of the total tenure-stream faculty in institutions of higher education (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2016). Of these full professors, a staggering 73% were men and 82% were White (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2016), pointing to disparities in gender and race at this highest academic rank. At the same time, associate professors – and women associate professors, in particular – continue to be reported as the least satisfied among all ranks (Trower, 2011a), leading to what some have seen as a “crisis” as many of these individuals battle fatigue, feeling over-worked, and under-appreciated (Wilson, 2012). While senior faculty are indisputably important to academia, many have wondered why more faculty do not apply to the rank of professor and why more are not promoted.

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