Faculty fire back at critique of social media in academy
- An anonymous faculty member blasted the convergence of academic, social media cultures and the pressure involved with self-promotion online in an article for The Guardian last week, provoking strong backlash from the community at-large.
- While the writer believes research and teaching should speak for itself, higher education as an industry is learning that the activity of faculty members and executives online increases the culture of accessibility, and even accountability of administration.
- Social media presence is perhaps the biggest and most effective tool a college can use in sustaining institutional branding strategy in the competitive marketplace.
College presidents like Walter Kimbrough and Santa Ono have helped to shape their leadership identities around prolific use of social media, and while critics have derided their use of the interactive media, there is no question that Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other tools have been the rising tide to promote university successes, and to stay in front of crisis or bad news.
The lesson for all university leaders is one of cultural acuity; avoiding networks where millions of potential stakeholders are most persuaded to see and to take action in response is akin to turning down free advertising space or a large donation. In the effort to cultivate attention and resources, you just don't do it; and you take every opportunity to encourage faculty and administration to use the public medium in benefit of the institution, and the personal brand of each member.
- Chronicle of Higher Education What Is a ‘Serious Academic’? Social-Media Critique Provokes a Backlash