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The Case Of Shared Professorial Lines

2595 words - 10 pages

The Case of Shared Professorial Lines

In order to stay competitive and attract good faculty and students,
"there is an inevitable tradeoff between the administrators' efforts
to moderate the rate of tuition increases faced by students and their
efforts to provide generous salary increases for the faculty
"(Ehrenberg Tuition Rising 113). The fiduciary responsibility of the
administrators is to maintain a balanced budget while being creative
in dealing with on-going budget cuts. A recent article in the
Chronicle of Higher Education entitled "Whose Professor Is It,
Anyway?" (10/22 2004, A 12) points at consortia as a possible solution
in retaining professorial lines for small programs.

My aim in this paper is to juxtapose the financial and structural
advantages and disadvantages of joining a consortium. Consortia are a
way for institutions to pool money and lower administrative burden and
cost but they do not necessarily meet the interests and needs of the
college and students. I will first look at a few consortia as examples
and then give a closer look at the prospect of sharing faculty.

Consortia have been in existence for some time with presently more
than 125 Higher Education consortia in the United States proving its
popularity and success. The Association for Consortium Leadership
(ACL), founded 35 years ago, provides insight into the types of
consortia its 65 members have formed throughout the United States. It
is the only institution serving higher education with a focus on
inter-institutional cooperation. Institutions planning a partnership
with each other and/or a community are given advice and a mentor to
help them establish their program and meet their needs. Other services
include helping doctoral students, search firms and conference
planners in their projects as well as administering consulting
assistance to and exploring new areas for existing partnerships.
Generally, consortia are formed as a cost saving measure in
non-academic disciplines and fields, for example by sharing
maintenance systems and offering cross registration to students.

Consortia can also be formed on a smaller scale representing
particular interests as is the case with the Consortium on
Revolutionary Europe established by five universities - Florida State
University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the
University of South Carolina, and Louisiana State University - in 1972
with the aim to organize an annual conference. It succeeded in its
primary goal and includes now seventeen institutions. On a much larger
scale, the consortium Five Colleges Incorporated was established in
1965 by five Massachusetts colleges - Amherst, Hampshire, Mount
Holyoke, and Smith Colleges - who offer cross registration, shared
educational and cultural resources and facilities, inter-campus

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