Article | The Productivity Trap: Why We Need a New Model of Faculty Writing Support | Ahern-Dodson & Dufour

  • Productivity is so entrenched in our visions of good work and a successful academic career that it has become normalized and thus very hard to question.
  • Valorizing exceptional productivity normalizes escalating standards. It is hard to know how much is enough, especially when more always seems better.
  • The myopic focus on productivity feeds the illusion that we can and should live up to its demands.
  • Academia will not be inclusive as long we fixate on productivity. If we continue to equate productivity with good work, the only people left will be those who have the privilege and the willingness to conform to expectations that many other capable people cannot or will not pay the price to meet.
  • When we shift the primary goal of writing support to sustainability, we acknowledge that faculty writers are valuable resources worth protecting. From this perspective, valorizing peak productivity is extractive and exploitative—of individual writers, one another, and the larger scholarly ecosystem.

Jennifer Ahern-Dodson & Monique Dufour (2023) The Productivity Trap:
Why We Need a New Model of Faculty Writing Support, Change: The Magazine of Higher
Learning, 55:1, 24-30, DOI: 10.1080/00091383.2023.2151800

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