Our distinctions: the whole person, connection, balance
A great college is characterized, first and foremost, by solid faculty and administrators. We have created this website to help prospective colleagues, both faculty and administrators, understand whether Augustana offers an academic setting that fits their abilities, needs and aspirations.
While we provide essential information about Augustana and our Quad-Cities community, we also offer practical advice on the process of finding a position more generally, along with links to a variety of resources that might help them in their search not merely for a job, but for a rewarding career and life. We understand that a search can be both exciting and stressful, and we hope to ease the process somewhat through the resources that this website provides.
As you think about Augustana, a useful and central beginning point is the simple fact that we are a college and not a university. However, the difference between a college and a university is not just a matter of size. There are differences far more central than the fact that we have 2,500 students and the land grant state university in our state has close to 30,000.
As you explore this site, you'll find compelling testimony to three great distinctions.
Augustana values the whole person. Unlike universities, our size permits – and our mission demands – that we pursue deeper connections with the vast majority of our students. We connect with our students not just during the 12 hours each week that they're in class but also during many of the hours outside of class: in faculty offices and coffee shops, at convocations and over pizza, on search committees and in colloquia. As a result, we develop – and our students expect – a surprising depth and richness in many of our relationships.
Not every faculty member knows every student well, but virtually every student has an extraordinary academic relationship with at least one faculty member.
Augustana values connection. A university's natural impulse is toward specialization. Faculty are valued for their ability to remain at the cutting edge, though necessarily in more and more minute sub-fields. Students are valued for their ability to absorb the shibboleths and norms of a single academic discipline. They glory in the microscopic while we value, to use a word my colleague David Snowball in Augie's Communication Studies Department likes to use, the macroscopic; that is, in the ability to make connections. Sometimes those connections are between disciplines, sometimes between academic inquiry and the world around us, sometimes between an expert scholar and a novice inquirer. In all cases, it's driven by a dual imperative: to provide a rigorous education but also to fulfill our mission of preparing students “for lives of leadership and service.”
Evidence of that connectedness comes from the programs that you'll discover in the pages ahead: the learning communities that are integral to the general education system, the reflection and connection that are integral to the capstone Senior Inquiry program, the multidisciplinary teams that lead student inquiry on six continents, and the rising tide of programs of study embedded in strengthening our communities.
Augustana values balance. We think it's important to recognize and support the diverse elements of faculty lives. As an example, we believe that productive scholarship is important for all new faculty, but it is secondary in importance to teaching and learning. We encourage all faculty to balance their work as teachers and scholars, and we richly support and celebrate their accomplishments in each area.
Likewise, we support faculty and indeed all in our community in their role as parents and citizens. Thus, we have added a policy to allow any colleague to “stop the tenure clock” in the year following the birth of a child or other major family event. We have no evening classes or committee meetings. Weekend obligations are intentionally rare.
We don’t always get the balance right, and, like most college faculties, we are engaged in ongoing conversations about our workload. But we have the culture, drive and resources to refine our strengths, explore our opportunities and confront our challenges.
The most important element in achieving those goals is our ability to draw remarkably bright and passionate teacher-scholars to renew our community each year. Perhaps you might be among them.
We hope that your search for a faculty position will lead you to reflect on the ways in which your gifts as a teacher and scholar might most effectively meet the needs of a college or university. Perhaps Augustana will be the match you are seeking.
So please explore this site. Consider whether the picture we paint of Augustana matches with your hope for the career, and life, you seek.