preface to the third edition
In the nearly twenty years since the first edition of The Academic’s Handbook
higher education in the United States has undergone significant change. It has
also, however, stayed very much the same, at least in one central aspect: most
new Ph.D.’s emerge from the nation’s premier graduate schools with very little
specific knowledge about how colleges and universities really operate or about
what academic life in such institutions is all about. This Handbook, therefore,
like its predecessors, is addressed directly to the beginning faculty member in
an effort to provide immediately useful advice to smooth the transition into
this complex, demanding, and, we hope, rewarding career.
The first edition of the Handbook was heavily indebted not only to the An-
drew W. Mellon Foundation but also to the fifty colleagues, both faculty and
graduate students, from Duke and elsewhere across the country, who came
together over two years in the mid-1980s to talk candidly about their experi-
ences within the academy. The second edition was equally indebted to a group
of students and faculty—this time largely from Duke and Guilford College—
who participated in a project entitled ‘‘Preparing Graduate Students for the
Professional Responsibilities of College Teachers,’’ a project developed by the
Association of American Colleges and Universities and supported by a three-
year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.
The present edition builds on these earlier projects, and particularlyon the now
widely recognized ‘‘Preparing Future Faculty’’ program, funded initially by the
Pew Charitable Trusts and directed nationally by colleagues at the aac&u and
the Council of Graduate Schools. For the past decade, Duke’s own pff pro-
gram has expanded its partner institutions to include not only Guilford College
but Elon University, DurhamTechnical Community College, Meredith College,
and North Carolina Central University.
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