Now a faculty member is supposed to plan and implement program marketing too? Check out the “Plan and implement program marketing” item in this faculty job ad. I am not singling out that particular institution, as I hear about this type of task from faculty members at other institutions. This is, however, the first time I have noticed it in a faculty job ad. Why is this becoming a standard faculty responsibility? I see it at my institution, and I hear about it from others, even at major research universities.
I am not against attending some recruiting events, and passing out some flyers, if I visit a school or go to a conference, but I think a faculty member’s main role in marketing is doing the job well — do research and service that benefits the community (local, national, or international – perhaps determined by the mission of your university), be a good “teacher” that contributes to the development of quality graduates who advocate for your program, and are valued by their employers. Those results of faculty doing their job well contribute to the long game in recruiting. There are other units on campuses charged with the short game, radio, print, TV, Internet marketing, right?
My objection isn’t just to the added work, but consider how faculty are prepared. We are prepared for teaching, research, and some professional service. Where‘s the preparation for marketing? Look at our reward and promotion and tenure processes, which are typically grounded in teaching, research, and professional service. By adding marketing are we asking faculty to do something they really don’t understand, while at the same time taking time away from their main functions of teaching, research, and service? Are we asking them to jump into the short game where they may have no particular expertise, thus making success questionable, and taking time away from their long game, where they should be able to have some impact? I don’t deny that faculty have a role in marketing, but it is a more subtle role, it’s the long game.