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More than 3,400 colleges and universities in the United States serve 20.5 million students. While each campus is unique, most campuses and institutions face common issues, including tenure and promotion; budgeting; competition among disciplines for space and funding; academic bullying; and issues of identity. These are just a few of the topics among the many vital areas of concern at schools across the country. In Bridges not Blockades, personal essays related to these cultural and political matters will allow faculty and administrators in higher education to see, hear, and better understand the inner workings of our institutions. Perhaps more importantly, this book demonstrates that faculty and staff at colleges and universities need to embrace our commonalities so that we can meet the challenges of higher education throughout the 21st century. Indeed, some of these essays may suggest ways in which faculty, staff, and administrators have moved from differences to commitment to shared goals to tackle new and existing challenges and opportunities.
“Campus and university politics can catch one by surprise and, if we are not careful, undermine positive and helpful change. This book provides insight to those commonly shared areas of university life where we often find unanticipated challenges. By knowing those challenges, time and energy can be spent on finding common ground for positive change across the academy.”Dr. Michael V. Carter, President of Campbellsville University
“Bridges Not Blockades: Transcending University Politics is a must-read series of insightful and thought-provoking essays written specifically for anyone employed in or preparing for a higher education career. Navigating the unwritten rules of university and college politics is needlessly perplexing and can even be maddening. Bridges Not Blockades: Transcending University Politics is a refreshing series of insightful and thought-provoking essays that unravels the politically charged world of the academe and offers refreshing solutions to age old issues.”Mark A Heinrich, Ph.D., President, Shelton State Community College (2008 – 2012), Chancellor, Alabama Community College System, Retired
“Much has been made of higher education in the political realm, but less attention has been paid to politics within higher education. At the same time, external social forces are affecting interpersonal relationships on campuses, making them counterproductive or, in some cases, even toxic. This timely collection provides desperately needed relationship strategies that faculty, staff, and administrators can use to navigate conflict so that we may band together in service of our students and our industry. The essays here provide historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding how we arrived at our current state, as well as concrete recommendations for creating agile institutions and higher education practitioners capable of effective and ethical response to contemporary challenges.”Lindsey Bernhagen, Director, Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning, Editor of To Improve the Academy, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
“Bridges Not Blockades: Transcending University Politics is an idea whose time has come. The scope of topics covered, and the expertise involved in writing this book provide a good foundation for understanding strategies for successfully navigating today’s political climate in higher education. Understating the importance of politics in higher education is the first step towards a successful career.”Lynda Ransdell, Ph.D., FACSM, CSCS, Dean and Professor, College of Health and Human Services at Northern Arizona University
“The contributors to Bridges Not Blockades: Transcending University Politics carefully and courageously name and describe multiple political issues facing the faculty, administrators, and students who work and learn in college and university communities across our nation. In doing so, they diminish the greater power each issue gains by our silent endurance and reduce the isolation experienced when navigating complex political dynamics on our own campuses. And, they do not stop there. Each chapter humbly presents solutions that build upon the confidence and belonging we need to transform our institutions and higher education more generally into the transparent, supportive, and curiosity inducing environments they are meant to be.”Sally Heilstedt, Dean of Instruction, Engagement and Learning, Lake Washington Institute of Technology