Academic Citizenship

Academic Citizenship Committee members who served as panelists summarized the findings in these categories:

Policy and Communication - Alicia Doyle

Mentorship - David Montano

Collaboration and Collegiality - Robert Jones

Observations on the Tenure System - Harold Abeles

Questions about the Tenure System - Anne Patterson

During the process, numerous insightful comments were provided by the survey participants.  These replies are representative of the responses:

“Consensus only works when all members feel free to speak their minds and buy into the process by being willing, at times, to subsume their individual agendas to the good of all.”

“Administration needs to regard collegiality as a priority and be committed to fostering an environment in which respect for each faculty member is recognized and nurtured.”

“Merit raises are determined by ranking the faculty in their annual performance review.  So we are all pitted against each other. The process makes us feel competitive against each other, which is terrible for morale.”

“Hire people that have a priority for training and educating music professionals in an atmosphere of mutual respect.”

“Cooperation on common goals and the willingness to place departmental mission above individual priorities”

 The Committee was gratified to find many innovative suggestions that reflect imaginative practices which encourage and nurture collaboration and collegiality.  At the same time, far too many of our colleagues work in environments that compromise the opportunity to make lasting positive contributions to the education of their students and making long-term contributions to their institutions.

Plans for 2015

Two significant themes emerged from the 2014 panel discussion: 

  • The concepts of academic citizenship and engagement with diverse communities were crucial to sustained viability and health of music departments in academic institutions.
  • Developing collegial/collaborative work environments is necessary for music units to attain a higher growth potential.

Responding to these themes, the Academic Citizenship Committee has proposed to host an open forum discussion at the 2015 CMS Conference in Indianapolis, entitled “Sustainability and Academic Citizenship: Collegiality, Collaboration and Community Engagement.”

Abstract: The CMS Academic Citizenship Committee believes that responsible citizenship, cultivated and nurtured within the academy, enables engagement with varied audiences and communities both on and off campus.  The results of the committee's 2014 survey, which focused on tenure and promotion procedures, overwhelmingly demonstrated that collegiality and collaboration contribute to establishing healthy working and learning environments.  Cultivating these conditions is necessary to long-term sustainability of music programs, and for developing engaged audiences from diverse communities.  Collegiality and collaboration engender mutual respect among faculty and administrators, providing healthy models for students who will be future music professionals.

Based on the outcomes of the 2014 Academic Citizenship Committee panel presentation in St. Louis, the committee will examine the relationship between collegiality and sustainability. Through electronic presentation and panel commentary, the Academic Citizenship Committee intends to stimulate an open forum discussion, exploring ways to encourage and nurture collegiality through active mentoring, and to engage and reinvigorate audiences by strengthening connections between performers and their constituent communities. The relationship between healthy work environments and prolonged sustainability will also be investigated. Strategies for minimizing or eliminating unhealthy policies and behaviors will also be solicited.

Thank you to my colleagues on the Academic Citizenship Committee for their excellent contributions to our activities for this past year. A special thank you to co-chair, Alicia Doyle. Your leadership and collaboration have been invaluable to the successful completion of the work of the committee. I look forward to more of these interactions in 2015.