Getting an Academic Position and Getting It Off to a Good Start (1 day)

It takes many skills to be a successful college professor. The first thing you have to do is get a job offer from an institution where you would like to work, competing with many talented competitors for the open position. Once you’re there, you have to plan, fund, and manage a research program, attract and retain graduate students, design courses and lectures and deliver them effectively, and deal with a wide range of problems related to research, teaching, and campus politics. As a rule, no one tells new or future faculty members anything about most of these things, and it is therefore not surprising that becoming a successful professor usually involves a long learning curve. Robert Boice, who has studied many new faculty members, notes that it generally takes 4-5 years for professors to meet or exceed their institution’s standards for research productivity and teaching effectiveness. However, about 5% of them–the ones Boice calls “Quick Starters”–manage to do it in their first 1-2 years. This workshop presents strategies that will help postdoctoral and graduate students get good faculty positions and become quick starters.

For Whom Intended

Postdoctoral and graduate students contemplating academic careers.

Topics Addressed

  • How can I make a strong impression when I apply and interview for academic positions?
  • What mistakes do new faculty members commonly make that limit their research productivity and teaching effectiveness, and how can I avoid them to become a quick starter?
  • How do I get a research program started and make it attractive to both funding agencies and graduate students?
  • How can I motivate students and get them actively involved in learning?
  • What problems am I likely to face as a faculty member (promotion and tenure issues, classroom management, time management, etc.)? How should I deal with them?

Contact Richard Felder for information about scheduling and fees.