Faculty Networks and Professional Relationships
Higher education institutions can feel very hierarchical, isolating, and impersonal to their members. Expectations are high for faculty performance and there is a cultural expectation that faculty will “hit the ground running” and stay at peak productivity without much direct help. This is challenging for many academics who were attracted to the academic life not only for the autonomy it provides, but for the promise of its community.
I have studied faculty professional relationships and designed initiatives aimed at improving them, both with on-campus colleagues and with colleagues in the field. My research, and leadership creating five peer networks through the University of Maryland ADVANCE program, have revealed key role such networks play in career advancement, the improvement of teaching and research, and organizational change for the full inclusion and participation of women and under-represented minorities.
O’Meara, K. & Stromquist, N. (2015). Faculty Peer Networks: Role and Relevance in Advancing Agency and Gender Equity. Gender and Education. 27(3), 338-358.
Niehaus, E. & O’Meara, K. (2014). Invisible but Essential: The Role of Professional Networks in Promoting Faculty Agency in Career Advancement. Innovative Higher Education, 40(2), 1-13.
O’Meara, K. & Niehaus, E. (2013). Connections that Matter: The Role of On- and Off-Campus Relationships in Faculty Careers. Paper presented at the AERA Conference.
Terosky, A., & O’Meara, K. (2011) Assuming agency: The power of strategy and networks in faculty professional lives. Liberal Education, 97(3/4), 54-59.
Terosky, A., O’Meara, K., & Campbell, C. (2014). Enabling Possibility: Women Associate Professors' Sense of Agency in Career Advancement. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(1), 58-76.
O’Meara, K. (2007). Stepping up: How one faculty learning community influenced faculty members’ understanding and use of active learning methods and course design. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 18(2), 97-118.
O’Meara, K. (2005). The courage to be experimental: How one faculty learning community influenced faculty teaching careers, understanding of how students learn, and assessment. Journal of Faculty Development, 20(3), 153-160.