Open Forum: Assistant Professor—The Early Years

David Butler

Note: The College Music Society held open forums during its 2004 National Conference in San Francisco to discuss the Professional Life Initiative reports. This is a brief synopsis of the Forum on Assistant Professorship held at the Conference.

Shellie Gregorich (Mansfield University) moderated the open forum on assistant professorship. The session had two goals:

(1) to identify issues important to assistant professors, and

(2) to define what the Society can do to better serve assistant professors in the field.

Issues identified and discussed as important to assistant professors included

(1) the role and importance of having a mentor,

(2) the importance of clear promotion and tenure requirements,

(3) the time required to deal with students and their problems,

(4) class sizes,

(5) relations with the general higher education community about the nature of music study,

(6) and credit hours received for ensemble conducting and coaching.

CMS was encouraged to consider developing a workshop on how to serve students with personal/emotional/psychological problems. Also, concern was expressed for graduate education, in that graduate students really need to know that they have to have more than one area of specialization: many schools—even larger universities—are now finding it necessary to look for faculty who can cover more than one area of specialization.