Happy holidays, everyone!
In lieu of a post, here's some good reading I stumbled upon at Engineering Prof's blog :
New Challenges, New Priorities:
The Experience of Generation X Faculty: A Study for the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education by Robin Matross Helms
As the title says, the report focuses on the academic experiences of Generation X-ers (born 1964-1980). A large number of early- to mid-career faculty fall within this range, and it's interesting to note that many of the issues discussed in the blogosphere as personal challenges appear to be generational.
The concluding paragraph sounds quite optimistic about the imprint that Gen X-ers are about to leave on academia:
The Bottom Line: X’ers Are Good News for Academia
It is always nice to be the bearer of good news – and it is safe to say that the findings of this study bode well for the academic profession and for higher education in general. Academia clearly will be in good hands as Generation X faculty inherit the reins from their Baby Boomer predecessors. Overall, X’ers are very committed to their jobs and institutions, and to excelling as teachers, researchers, and administrators. They value interdisciplinarity in all its forms, forge collaborations and mentoring relationships, and work hard to support their colleagues – the essence of collegiality. They are figuring out ways to make work-life balance work for themselves and their families, and perhaps more than anything else, are seeking to build community in all realms of their lives. There can be no doubt that students, institutions, and future generations of faculty will benefit as a result, and that higher education will emerge stronger and all the more effective as Generation X faculty members’ careers unfold over the coming years and decades.