An Investigation of New Faculty Orientation and Support Among Mid-Sized Colleges and Universities
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 6 No. 2 (2005): Vol-6-Issue-2-February-2005
Colleges and universities are encountering an interesting conundrum in today’s fast-paced and aging
culture. Faculty demographics are changing radically as the professorate ages and “the first 77 million
baby boomers turn 60 next January.” (Friedman and Moen 2005). The impact of this demographic shift
was described by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (2000), when they
projected that by 2010, more than 30,000 full-time and part-time faculty will be replaced. In addition, the
authors of the study projected the need for an additional 15,000 new hires to teach the roughly half
million new students who will be entering higher education.
While higher education is being impacted by retirements, an AAUP study (Millman 2007) reported that
96 percent of institutions that responded to the survey said “recruiting faculty members was ‘very
important’ and 89 percent called retaining faculty members a priority, only 19 percent of the institutions
reported that retiring older professors was a high concern.” Are traditional higher education institutions
planning adequately for the needs of new faculty members? There needs to be a planned effort to bring
new faculty into academe effectively.