Academic Citizenship

jones robertRobert Jones, North Dakota State University
Chair, Academic Citizenship Committee

The CMS Academic Citizenship Committee contributed much to the Society’s 2014 focus on “Confluence: Music, Culture and Community.”

The CMS Academic Citizenship Committee believes in and advocates for the notion that 

  • “responsible academic citizenship demands engaged, collegial, civil, collaborative participation in the full life of the college/conservatory/university
  • an awareness of the institution’s strategic goals and active contribution to their achievement 
  • a willingness to integrate meaningfully the demands of our discipline with the needs and expectations of our students and of the civic community                                                         

Two major concerns emerged from the Open Forum Discussion at the 2013 CMS Conference in Cambridge, MA entitled “Building Inclusivity in the Exclusive Academy:” 

  • current promotion and tenure processes might actually be hindering the development of collegial and collaborative academic citizenship  
  • the intense focus on measuring and rewarding individual academic and creative productivity might actually be encouraging more independent agency rather than collegial and cooperative cross-disciplinary work that is more responsive and relevant to the needs and expectations of our students and of the civic community

In 2014, the Academic Citizenship Committee, under the leadership of Alicia Doyle, developed a survey that was sent to over 12,000 CMS colleagues representing a range of institutions, from community colleges to comprehensive research universities. The survey’s objective was to gather information about attitudes, practices and procedures on the subject of promotion and tenure.

The panel presentation “Promoting Academic Citizenship: Are P & T Criteria Helping or Hindering the Development of Collegial, Collaborative Academic Citizenship?” identified, summarized, and analyzed the findings of the Academic Citizenship Committee’s survey of the CMS membership on the topic of promotion and tenure. Responses from 1,540 colleagues were received by the Committee. The survey assessed the current status of promotion and tenure practices across the profession, and solicited ideas for how current practices might be improved. The Academic Citizenship Committee fully expects this effort to result in the panel’s recommendation of new best practices in the area of promotion and tenure.  As the information was being analyzed, the responses coalesced around several distinctive areas.