The Professoriate in International Perspective

Chapter
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 33)

Abstract

The international professoriate consists of the world’s teachers, researchers, and scholars who are employed by universities, schools, colleges, centers, and institutes as the primary academic staff of higher education institutions. The size and scope of the international professoriate, mirroring the role played by higher education in the social organization of societies throughout the world, has changed tremendously in the last quarter-century. The present work reviews major recent efforts to study the professoriate comparatively. The elemental theoretic foundations of comparative study of the professoriate are examined, which includes both classic and contemporary formulations. Guiding theoretic ideas and puzzles are identified, including center and periphery, convergence and differentiation, growth and accretion. The review considers four clusters of major topical forays, representing both empirical and analytic work on the contemporary international professoriate. The clusters of work include academic freedom; contracts and compensation; career structures and roles; and an account of a recent surge of survey research exemplified by the “Changing Academic Profession” project. Taking stock of the current situation of work, the review concludes by explaining three elements, gleaned from examples of outstanding scholarship of the past, that are essential to preserving a future for important comparative inquiry on the professoriate.

Keywords

Academic profession Academic careers Professoriate Professors Academic staff Faculty International higher education Comparative higher education Massification Managerialism Enrollment Accretion Globalization Academic freedom Compensation Contracts Teaching Research 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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