Understanding Contemporary Academia

Course Length: 2 Hours
Course Style: High-Definition On Demand Video

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this comprehensive and engaging course, you will be able to:

  1. Review the history and mission of contemporary higher education
  2. Compare and contrast the main benefits of public vs. private higher education
  3. Define Shared Governance and explore how institutions of higher education are structured
  4. Discuss key differences between Birnbaum’s Four Models of Higher Education Decision-Making
  5. Explain the 5 main aspects of institutional diversity
  6. Review the purpose, history, and critiques of tenure
  7. Describe the standard academic promotion process, including both internal and external review at the department, school, dean, and university levels
  8. Explore the impact of departmental, institutional, and discipline-specific faculty cultures on day-to-day life
  9. Discuss what life is like as a new faculty member with different teaching loads (≤2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5) as well as research and service expectations
  10. Craft a scholarly image both online and offline


Michael S. Harris, EdD is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education as well as Chair of the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at Southern Methodist University. Current Faculty Senate President and Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees at SMU, he received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Harris has extensively researched the culture, strategy, and organization of institutions of higher education, resulting in influential publications in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Higher Education, Innovative Higher Education, and Higher Education Policy. He has also reported for the Associated Press, The Atlantic, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His experience in academic leadership has culminated in four books: Teaching for Learning: 101 Intentionally-Designed Educational Activities to Put Students on the Path to Success 2nd Edition (Routledge), The Qualitative Dissertation in Education: A Guide for Integrating Research and Practice (Routledge), How to Get Tenure: Strategies for Successfully Navigating the Process (Routledge), and Understanding Institutional Diversity in American Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 2013). He has presented insights on university advertising, institutional diversity, and academic leadership at various international conferences and platforms like TEDx.

DISCLOSURES: This course can be classified as video-based homestudy without interactivity, and has an intended audience of professionals in the following sectors: Non-profit, Industry, University, Community College, Government Agency, Hospitals & Clinics, and Independent Researchers. Publication Academy, Inc. reports no conflicts of interest and has received no commercial support in the development and hosting of this training from its instructors. Publication Academy, Inc. maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. If you wish to enquire about a refund due to technical difficulties, please e-mail support@publicationacademy.org.

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