Factors Affecting Rewards in Academia
The critical criteria in determining academic appointments are disciplinary prestige and, to a lesser extent, compatibility, which in the end make the operation of the academic labor market largely immaterial to most academics. The capacity of colleges and universities and academic administrators to affect academic careers is minimized when in the evaluation of faculty research is placed above teaching. Academic administrators have created a dilemma for themselves. In promoting research, they have ceded some power and control to faculty. Individuals engaged in teaching are seen as mostly interchangeable, more interchangeable than members of a baseball team or academics who engage in research. Teaching is an institutional activity and is identified only with the local prestige and reward hierarchies. The common rewards for an institutional career—rank, tenure, and salary—are more circumscribed. When colleges and universities recognize and reward those involved in research, they increase the likelihood of retaining faculty who can bring them grant money, recognition, and prestige.