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Transitioning from PK-12 administration to tenure track positions in institutions of high education, along with mentoring, has received much attention within the education arena. This transition has many different facets identified in research. Sorcinelli and Austin (2006) identified several challenges for new faculty that included tenure expectations, performance expectations, the culture of the institution of higher education, the understanding of the department structure and the organizational structure, and balancing of roles and responsibilities of the position, as well as balancing work and personal life. Boice (2000) also found that new faculty often experiences a sense of loneliness and lower stimulation in their new roles as assistant professors. Each of these areas are presented for further exploration in this review.

Tenure expectations.

Many researchers recommend that new faculty need to make sure they understand the criteria in tenure and promotion (Mabrouk, 2006). Some authors have determined that tenure expectations are divided evenly between research and teaching with less emphasis on service; yet there is usually confusion by new faculty on the tenure process (Greene et al., 2008). One author even recommended that candidates actually obtain written clarification of expectations for tenure (Hamilton, 2005). Unclear expectations for tenure have shown to lower collegiality (Mullen&Forbes, 2000).

Performance expectations.

Interviews of tenure track faculty showed that new faculty need feedback on teaching and clear expectations (Eddy&Gaston-Gayles, 2003). Performance is usually examined in three major areas of research, teaching, and service. Often times the area of service is less valued as part of the tenure process (Park, 1992). Tenured professors shared that increased service on university governance and operations helped them gain more knowledge on expectations and increased their own learning on performance expectations at the university (Neumann&Terosky, 2007). However, other researchers recommend that new faculty refrain from too much service early in their higher education careers because it will take away from the major responsibilities of teaching and research (Mabrouk, 2006). Many authors determined that more priority is given to teaching and research (Greene et al., 2008) in expectations. Further, Williams (2008) found a challenge for departments as well as faculty was the quantification of research and service in performance expectations. The performance expectations also have some conflicting values as researchers are expected to single author some of their research but also show collaboration with peers (Nir&Silberstein-Levy, 2006).

Culture of campus, department structure and organizational structure

Magill (1997) defined career socialization as the process of learning the values and norms of an institution which is the culture of a campus. There are many changes in the department and organizational structure at higher education that is different from PK-12 administration. One of the major differences is a realization that decision making is not at the new faculty’s level (Walker&Sharp, 2000).

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Source:  OpenStax, Education leadership review special issue: portland conference, volume 12, number 3 (october 2011). OpenStax CNX. Oct 17, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11362/1.5
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