Faculty morale plays an important role in academic life. Morale influences faculty behavior, productivity, and quality of teaching; ultimately affects student learning and program quality; and is predictive of faculty turnover. It is an often overlooked but worthy challenge for academic leaders. This article examines faculty morale, its meaning, and factors that influence it and explores strategies for promoting it in a university department. Faculty morale is a cognitive, emotional, and motivational approach toward the work of the department and may be reflected by a sense of common purpose, group cohesion, and a sense of personal value in the organization. Research shows that faculty morale is affected by various aspects of work life including workload, supportive resources, and recognition. However, evidence also suggests that 2 of the strongest variables influencing morale are relationships with colleagues and perceptions of the abilities and actions of the department leader. Strategies are suggested for promoting faculty morale that are derived from the research, a survey of department chairs, and experience.
Jason R. Carter and Nancy Williams
Duane Knudson, Ting Liu, Dan Schmidt, and Heather Van Mullem
The scarcity of tenure-track lines in most kinesiology departments supports the need for the implementation of faculty mentoring programs. This article summarizes key elements of mentoring programs for tenure-track kinesiology faculty at 3 kinds of state universities. Mentoring at a bachelor’s college or university might emphasize support to enhance a new faculty member’s teaching effectiveness and student advising strategies and assist new faculty with a positive integration into the campus community. A comprehensive university mentoring approach may place equal emphasis on both formal (e.g., orientation and mentoring committee) and informal (e.g., collegial and self-selected mentoring) interactions. Helping new faculty members understand their role as an important part of the departmental team and organizational mission is a consistent theme. Mentoring at a research-intensive university might emphasize clarifying scholarship, tenure, and promotion expectations relative to support; guidance in portfolio presentation; retention, tenure, and promotion evaluation; and strong communication that promotes mutual professional development and improves or sustains faculty retention.
Jared A. Russell, Sheri Brock, and Mary E. Rudisill
Bias, an automatic—usually unconscious and unintentional—inclination, preference, or favoring of an individual or group over another, is an inherent aspect of an individual’s academic leadership and decision-making processes. Bias alone is not a detriment to building an inclusive and supportive environment for faculty. However, oftentimes an academic unit leader’s biases result in the justification, rationalization, and facilitation of exclusionary processes and practices toward faculty, particularly those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. This article discusses the impact of bias, specifically implicit bias, on academic leadership. Moreover, the impact of a leader’s biases toward diversity attributes (e.g., gender, sexual orientation/affinity, age, ethnicity, race) of faculty are highlighted. Specifically, key areas of academic leadership are explored: faculty recruitment (hiring), retention (evaluation), and advancement (promotion and tenure). Recommendations, promising practices, and strategies for minimizing the impact of implicit bias are provided.
Terry L. Rizzo, Penny McCullagh, and Donna Pastore
This paper offers direction and guidance to help departments develop fair and equitable search, evaluation, and retention strategies for their faculty. Included is how to attract a diverse candidate pool and successfully recruit diverse candidates. In addition, the paper provides guidelines about evaluating faculty members, emphasizing the need for formative evaluation that offers faculty ample opportunities, resources, and support systems for improving their performance before any summative evaluations administered by a department or college. Finally, the paper presents retention stratagems as guidelines to help departments support and retain their high-quality faculty members. Achieving the goals of recruitment, retention, and advancement requires the involvement and leadership of university officers, school deans, department chairs/heads, and faculty.
Christopher R. Hill, Deborah L. Feltz, Stephen Samendinger, and Karin A. Pfeiffer
Previous reviews have highlighted the importance of self-efficacy beliefs in maintaining adequate levels of childhood physical activity (PA), but variable findings with different age groups and measures of PA indicate the need to quantify the extant literature. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the relationship between adolescents’ barrier self-efficacy (BSE) and PA behavior using a random-effects model and to examine age and type of PA measurement as potential relationship moderators. A systematic online database review yielded 38 articles up to June 2018. A small to moderate correlation between BSE beliefs and PA was noted, although the variability was considerable. Age and measurement timing were not significant moderators, but the type of measurement was a significant relationship moderator. This meta-analysis emphasizes the importance of BSE as a psychosocial correlate to PA behavior in young people. There is a need for further BSE–PA research with attention to measurement technique and developmental differences.
Alan L. Smith, Karl Erickson, and Leapetswe Malete
Youth sport research has expanded considerably since the founding of the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports in 1978. This research has resulted in meaningful advancements in knowledge and proved enormously valuable in both safeguarding athlete well-being and fostering positive sport experiences. There are still knowledge gaps in the scholarly literature that have important implications for youth sport participants and programs. Hopefully, the quantity and quality of the scholarly literature on youth sport will continue to expand in response to broader societal changes and scientific advances. This paper addresses the future of youth sport scholarship, focusing on 3 selected areas of promise. The first pertains to positive youth development work, including efforts tied to fostering economic opportunity among young people. The second pertains to youth sport as a domain for addressing public health, an emerging area with respect to physical activity promotion, injury surveillance, physical well-being, and mental health. Finally, the paper addresses implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for youth sport and how this might shape scholarship over the coming decades. Pursuing these areas of research while attending to important opportunities for and challenges to the promotion of developmentally appropriate youth sport experiences is expected to meaningfully contribute to knowledge and, ultimately, the well-being of young athletes.
Tracey Covassin, Kyle M. Petit, and Morgan Anderson
Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a growing health concern, particularly in younger, at-risk athletic populations. These injuries commonly present with a wide range of clinical signs (i.e., poor coordination, behavioral, mood changes) and symptoms (i.e., headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating), along with neurocognitive and vestibular/ocular impairments. This review of SRCs in youth athletes focuses on individuals 5–18 years of age and includes an overview of concussion (i.e., definition, signs/symptoms, epidemiology), as well as concussion education and awareness. This is followed by a review of SRC assessment and management strategies, along with common recovery, return-to-play, and treatment approaches. Finally, suggestions are made for future research and recommendations pertaining to SRC in youth athletes.
Youth sport participation has been found to have many beneficial physical, psychological, and social consequences, as well as risks for those involved. If the benefits are to outweigh the detriments, youth sport must be thoughtfully constructed. Research can play a major role in understanding how to positively structure youth sport. This paper describes how the youth sport landscape has changed over the past 4 decades and how these changes may influence the outcomes of involvement. Critical issues of contemporary concern in youth sport that urgently need scientific attention include physically based issues (e.g., role of youth sport in combating physical inactivity, youth sport injuries), psychological issues (e.g., reducing stress and burnout, enhancing young athletes’ mental health), access and structural issues (e.g., lack of opportunities for poor and less-skilled youth), sport culture issues (e.g., the professionalization of youth sport, child safety, maltreatment and bullying), issues associated with significant others (e.g., coach, sport parent, and peer influences and needs), economic issues (e.g., youth sport as business), governmental and legislative issues (e.g., the need to become more politically active in the setting of policy, legislation, and funding), and translational science and program-evaluation issues (e.g., the need for research dissemination and evaluation research).