In each of its issues, JNE usually publishes a variety of manuscripts pertaining to teaching and learning in schools of nursing. This issue, the first for the 1983-1984 academic year, will focus on you - the nurse educator. We have selected the articles with a common theme: the special concerns and interests of faculty members in institutions of higher education.
Many of us entered teaching careers naively believing that our major, if not only, responsibility would be to our students. We worked very hard at developing our courses. We selected student learning experiences with great care. We sought alternative ways to guide and influence our students toward meeting learning objectives. For some of us it came as a great shock when we realized that the non-teaching responsibilities assigned to us were of major importance also, not only to our institutions and our students, but to our own academic survival.
Many of the crises and conflicts in institutions of higher education center on the matter of governance, and it is necessary to understand the balance of authority and power. The goal is to share governance between administrators, who are responsible for carrying out the institution's goals and mission, and faculty, who assume responsibility for advising administrators on a wide range of matters involving academic policy. This includes selection and evaluation not only of students but also peers and administrators. It means reviewing academic programs, at times in areas outside our own expertise. Participatory management requires that faculty adjudicate disputes between peers or between peers and students. Faculty committees are assigned the responsibility for finding and singling out individuals worthy of special recognition and reward. And, above all else, faculty are expected to be special ambassadors, relating the goals and values of their institutions to the various publics within the larger community.
The articles in this issue of JNE have been selected to help you better understand and cope with some of the challenges facing you as a member of an academic community.
Best wishes for a personally and professionally rewarding new academic year.