New chapter on the changing practices and identities of academics in Europe and the U.S.
The chapter “Understanding academic work in a changing institutional environment:
Faculty autonomy, productivity, and identity in Europe and the United States” by L. Leisyte and J.R. Dee in Higher Education: The Handbook of Theory and Research ( Smart, J. C. and Paulsen M. B. (Eds.), forthcoming 2012) explores the shifting nature of academic work at European and U.S. research universities. The analyses reveal four trends. First, despite significant differences in higher education governance, the institutional environments have led to a shift away from the “integrated scholar” model toward structurally differentiated academic roles. Second, the priorities of external funding agencies influence the types research performed in the U.S. and Europe, leading faculty to use diverse strategies to preserve their autonomy and address externally-defined research agendas. Third, in Europe, the quantification of research outputs has become a common trend whereas in the U.S., publish-or-perish logics define the academic hierarchy of disciplines and institutions. Fourth, faculty identity is increasingly shaped by the institutional context such as the norms of academic capitalism, especially in the U.S. The study revealed that research would benefit from employing innovative theoretical frameworks that explain changes in academic work.