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Holy Cross Lauded by The Chronicle of Higher Education for Championing Its Visiting Assistant Professors

Discussing the growing challenges facing young academics, The Chronicle points to Holy Cross as a college doing it right
October 2nd, 2018 by 

Eric Fleury, visiting assistant professor in the political science department, is seen here during a class.
Eric Fleury, visiting assistant professor in the political science department, is seen here during a class.

Visiting assistant professor positions have gotten a bad rap in academia, known as being exploitative and not offering much-needed job security, leading many scholars to avoid them altogether. But if a college’s visitors’ program is structured well, it can lead to great successes that benefit both the institution and the academics.

“Visiting faculty, generally, are extraordinarily talented individuals,” Margaret Freije, provost and dean of Holy Cross told The Chronicle of Higher Education in a recent article. “And in another world and another time, they would probably be in tenure-line positions. So what we want to do is treat them as the professionals that they are.”

Whether it’s through faculty-development workshops and mentoring, or same new-faculty orientation and financial support for scholarly studies as tenure-track faculty, Holy Cross is leading the way in making visiting assistant professors more competitive on the tenure-track market, according to The Chronicle.

From her own experience as a visiting professor at Holy Cross, Tamar Carroll agrees, “Holy Cross has a great reputation for teaching, so I think that enhanced my CV and the way people received me while I was on the job market.”

“Faculty members there were willing to mentor me, to take time out of their busy schedules to offer advice on the job-interview process, as well as teaching advice,” shares Carroll, now associate professor and acting history department chair at Rochester Institute of Technology. “And so I think that probably helped me be more successful.”

To read the full article, go to Chronicle.com.

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