and at the institutional level (Ory, 2000). In a recent survey of doctoral students, for example, 83 percent indicated that teaching “is one of the most appealing aspects of faculty life, as well as its core undertaking” (Golde and Dore, 2001, p. 21).

In recent interviews with new faculty members, Rice et al. (2000)2 reported that interviewees overwhelmingly expressed enjoyment of and commitment to teaching and working with students. However, early-career faculty expressed concerns about how their work is evaluated. They perceive that

expectations for their performance are vague and sometimes conflicting. They also indicated that feedback on their performance often is insufficient, unfocused, and unclear. Many expressed concern about the lack of a “culture of collegiality” or a “teaching community” at their institutions (Rice et al., 2000).

During the past decade, there also has been increasing concern among senior faculty and administrators about improving undergraduate STEM education. These efforts have been spurred by reports from a variety of national organizations (e.g., Boyer, 1990; Boyer Commission, 1998; NRC, 1996b, 1997a; NSF, 1996; Project Kaleidoscope, 1991, 1994) calling for reform in these disciplines. Professional societies also are devoting serious attention to enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning in these disciplines (e.g., Council on Undergraduate Research <>; Doyle, 2000; McNeal and D’Avanzo, 1997; NRC, 1999b, 2000b; Howard Hughes Medical Institute <>; National Institute for Science Education <>; Project Kaleidoscope <>; Rothman and Narum, 1999; and websites and publications of increasing numbers of professional societies in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering).


This report by Rice et al. (2000) is a product of the American Association for Higher Education’s (AAHE’s) ongoing Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards. The report provides the results of structured interviews that were undertaken with 350+ new faculty members and graduate students aspiring to be faculty members from colleges and universities around the country. The aim of that study was to obtain perspectives from those who are just beginning their academic careers and to offer guidance for senior faculty, chairs, deans, and others in higher education who will be responsible for shaping the professoriate of the future. Rice et al. offer ten “Principles of Good Practice: Supporting Early-Career Faculty,” accompanied by an action inventory to prompt department chairs, senior colleagues, and other academic leaders to examine their individual and institutional practices. These principles and specific action items are also available in a separate publication by Sorcinelli (2000), which is available at <>.

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