Cet ouvrage fait partie de la bibliothèque YouScribe
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le lire en ligne
En savoir plus

When Generations Collide

De
5 pages

When Generations Collide

Publié par :
Ajouté le : 21 juillet 2011
Lecture(s) : 132
Signaler un abus
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i45/45b01801.htm
When Generations Collide
Colleges try to prevent age-old culture clashes as four distinct groups meet in the workplace
By PIPER FOGG
In an office at Western Technical College, the under-30 crowd creates funny, mock videos to reward
themselves for a job well done. Or they throw a pizza party to celebrate. That bothers some of their older
colleagues at the two-year Wisconsin college, who complain that the young folks should be working, not
playing.
Denise Vujnovich, who fields those complaints as Western's vice president for student services and
college relations, worries that too many baby boomers just don't get it: The younger generations get their
work done, she says; they just do it differently.
It's not that the younger set has it all figured out. A twentysomething employee at one university didn't
think twice about e-mailing the entire campus when he was trying to sell his car. The problem is, the
generations don't always understand one another. And in the academic workplace — where, for the first
time in recent memory, four generations have converged — that can create serious culture clashes.
It is happening across college campuses — in offices as diverse as admissions, student affairs, legal
affairs, and technology. And it is especially striking in the faculty ranks, where generational challenges
have extra significance amid recruiting efforts, tenure evaluations, and the changing definition of what
constitutes important faculty work.
As members of Generations X and Y face a workplace dominated by boomers, they are all starting to
chafe. Some colleges are having trouble attracting, managing, and sometimes retaining people younger
than 35. Members of the younger generations grew up watching their parents sacrifice for their careers,
and they want something different: balance and freedom and autonomy. And they won't hesitate to
switch jobs or leave academe if it means more-palatable working conditions. Many baby boomers,
meanwhile, don't understand why someone would leave the office at 5 p.m. when there is always more
to do.
How do colleges handle this generational dilemma? As in other sectors of the workplace, where similar
issues are festering, good communication can help people better understand one another, say those in the
trenches. But some experts argue that more-substantial structural and policy changes are needed to avert
a looming crisis — an anticipated dearth of young people interested in rising through the academic
ranks.
Faculty demographics are not easy to forecast, as academics saw when experts' predictions in the late
1980s of a huge faculty shortage due to retirements failed to materialize. Still, some experts are adamant
that academe will have to accommodate the next generation's preferences.
"A major leadership gap is coming up," warns Pamela Cox-Otto, a marketing expert and former college
vice president who writes about generational marketing in academe. She argues that colleges need to
From the issue dated July 18, 2008
Page 1 of 5
Print: When Generations Collide - Chronicle.com
8/7/2008
http://chronicle.com/cgi-bin/printable.cgi?article=http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i45/45b0
...
Un pour Un
Permettre à tous d'accéder à la lecture
Pour chaque accès à la bibliothèque, YouScribe donne un accès à une personne dans le besoin