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Collegiality at Mid-Career: Social Networks and Informal Structures in Academic Departments

Mon, April 12, 9:30 to 11:00am EDT (9:30 to 11:00am EDT), Division J, Division J - Section 4 Paper and Symposium Sessions


The purpose of this study is to examine faculty collegiality at mid-career and understand how particular dimensions of collegiality can foster faculty vitality. Previous research suggests that mid-career faculty may struggle to maintain their vitality, as they are susceptible to a plateauing trap, characterized by diminished focus and reduction in motivation. Our study findings suggest that collegial work environments can help faculty avoid a mid-career slump. Based on interviews with 30 mid-career faculty, findings suggest that informal relationships within academic departments, as well as participation in faculty development programs and interdisciplinary research centers, comprise important sources of collegiality, which in turn, strengthen specific dimensions of vitality.