Age and Innovation – Inside Higher Ed

The challenge that I see is to align incentives (promotion and tenure) so that junior faculty can be incented to be as innovative in advancing their teaching (and partnering with learning technologists) as our senior tenured faculty. For now, I'll settle for convincing my Dad that his colleagues in the "over 50 crowd" are amongst our most innovative faculty when it comes to learning technology.


I couldn't agree more and I think this is often a misrepresented point in the use of technology among faculty. More and more of the faculty we partner with are not brand new faculty — as a matter of fact, we often shy away from working with them. Not because they are not innovative, it is because we want them to focus on their scholarship and teaching so they can get tenure.

I really don't think it is age as much as it is interest in rethinking practice and staying current with certain trends. I do have plenty of young (newly hired) faculty who want to hang out and try interesting things, but it seems more and more that our more seasoned faculty want to play in the innovative teaching with technology space.

I like seeing pieces like this that work to dispel the rhetoric related to age v innovation. This is an important topic and can push us all the rethink how we target partnerships across campus.

As an aside, all of our TLT Faculty Fellows (except our research Librarian) have been tenured faculty with a decade or more of service to higher education.

2 thoughts on “Age and Innovation – Inside Higher Ed

  1. Seems like this trend will continue until P&T is revised a bit, as indicated by the quote.
    As much as I like the academy, I philosophically can’t get myself behind P&T processes at most R1 institutions. I understand the value in teaching/research/service, but when it’s implemented similar to rushing/pledging a fraternity and being hazed for five years…hrm.

  2. I think you are right Bart, but I wonder if it will ever change. Seems like it is what it is. I am finding that once many faculty make it through the process they are excited to reinvest in their teaching, so that is good.

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