Professionalism, elucidates the philanthropic dimension of the contemporary faculty career. In this volume, scholars address the notion that in addition to teaching, research, and service, contributing to the public good by way of philanthropy is inherent in the fabric of the academic professorial career and as such, they advocate for its recognition as a dimension of faculty work.
When people first think of professorial philanthropy, they may conjure images of faculty engaging in activities such as community service. Shaker takes a different stance, focusing on the element of the faculty role that serves the public good in its broadest form. Therefore, to illustrate this paradigm shift, Shaker reflects on her graduate advisor’s philanthropic actions from which she benefited, including mentorship sessions, motivational meetings, one-on-one writing time, access to
personal office space, introduction to personal contacts, and gifted books. Employing her personal experience as a springboard, Shaker argues that the faculty profession is “grounded in a responsibility to contribute to the public good. The expectation to meet society’s needs for an educated citizenry and societal requirements to advance and disseminate knowledge lend a philanthropic component to the act of being a faculty member” (p. 11). Thus, Shaker asserts that the faculty profession is anchored in the responsibility to growing demands of research productivity and increased pressure for student accountability, calls to both preserve and recognize the importance of faculty philanthropy.