Top HigherEdJobs Stories of 2017

by Winona Weindling

Article content is provided by HigherEdJobs.
The stories published on HigherEdJobs in 2017 had a powerful impact on readers. This past year's most popular articles garnered thousands of views and sparked lively discussion around a variety of issues related to higher education careers. These high-impact articles fell into the categories of job searching, career development, faculty and teaching, and higher education news and trends. 2017 also had standout blog posts by our Authors-in-Residence and popular Higher Ed Careers interviews. These "Best of 2017" articles are detailed below.

Job Searching
Many readers come to HigherEdJobs seeking advice about job searching, and this year's articles did not disappoint. Christopher D. Lee is a leading authority on the search process and his story Four Questions You Shouldn't Ask an Interviewer was our most-read and most-commented on job search article. In this article, Lee outlined questions to avoid and questions to ask a search committee at the end of an interview.

Another article that promoted lively discussion in the comments section was Discriminatory Job Postings? What's the Deal? by Daniel B. Griffith. This article discussed the legal context for potentially discriminatory job postings and occupational qualifications, and commenters shared personal experiences and frustrations they've had during job searches in the past.

Career Development
Not all readers on HigherEdJobs are looking for a career change. Many of our articles focus on career development and advice for those wanting to learn and grow in their current roles. Eileen Hoenigman Meyer's You Scored Your Dream Job, but It's Not Working Out. Now What? was 2017's top-viewed career development article. Even a dream job can have its challenges, and Meyer explains how to address that difficult situation in her thoughtful article.

The career development article that sparked the most commentary was Marta Segal Block's Hidden Biases that May Affect Your Job. People in any profession need to examine their own biases and learn to navigate the biases of others. Block states that the "very environment of the university may create some biases," thus this article is particularly important for those working in higher education, and prompted students and faculty members to engage in dialog on the HigherEdJobs discussion board.

Faculty and Teaching
A significant portion of 2017's articles focused on teaching practices and faculty work-life balance. Thousands of viewers read Justin Zackal's Classroom Strategies to Engage the 'New Majority' which discussed strategies for engaging students and fostering degree completion among students from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students.

An article that readers found particularly interesting was Romance and the Single Professor by Marta Segal Block. She contrasts the realities of professors' small-town dating lives with the archetype portrayed in movies and on television shows. While readers disagreed about whether or not the prospective social scene is enough to turn down a job, many shared their opinions on the subject.

Higher Education News and Trends
Some significant trends in higher education careers emerged in 2017 and were captured in HigherEdJobs' articles. One of my articles, The Makeup and Salaries of the Higher Education Workforce, caught the attention of many readers. This article detailed highlights from CUPA-HR's Staff in Higher Education Survey, including trends in the makeup of the staff position workforce, pay gaps, tenure, and overall pay.

An increasingly common leadership position in higher education, chief diversity officer, also caught the attention of readers. Rhonda Brown's article, Chief Diversity Officer? What Does that Mean? garnered the most comments of any article in the news and trends categories. Brown wrote about her own experiences as a chief diversity officer and sparked debate in the comments about the purpose of such a role, illustrating the importance of jobs emphasizing diversity in higher education.

We were lucky to have many gifted Authors-in-Residence with HigherEdJobs in 2017. James Martin and James E. Samels' article The Consolidation of American Higher Education was one of the most popular. Martin and Samels discussed their book, "Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities," and highlighted characteristics that provide long-term sustainability for institutions in a cross-subsidized business model.

George R. Boggs and Christine Johnson McPhail actively engaged in dialog with readers in their articles' comments sections. The conversations in which they engaged with readers of Dealing with Curmudgeons, Naysayers, and other Difficult People and Academic Freedom, Academic Responsibility, and Civility brought additional insight and energy to their pieces.

Higher Ed Careers Interviews
Our most-viewed and most-commented on Higher Ed Careers interview spoke with Dr. Gerard Kowalski and Dr. Anne E. Lombard. In this interview, How Mentoring Can Impact Your Job Search and Career, Kowalski and Lombard discussed the value of mentorship, how to find and interact with mentors, and the role of mentors for student affairs professionals with HigherEdJobs Co-Founder Andrew Hibel. Readers posted questions related to where to find a mentor and how best to enter the field of higher education when transitioning from another career field.

If we missed any of your personal favorite stories from 2017 or if there are any topics you'd particularly like to read about in 2018, let us know below!