International Journal for Academic Development
Place of Publication
Academic developers are often positioned as intermediaries who wield valueneutral
tools – languages, models, and techniques – in service of decidedly nonneutral
institutional goals. We challenge the value of perpetuating the ideal of
the neutrality of academic developers and their tools by examining the ways in
which our resources and approaches produce imbalances of control, power, and
authority in a consulting relationship. We suggest that the values embedded
within the practices of academic development lead developers, and the people
they help, to act inauthentically. By recognizing the improbability of neutrality
in academic development work, the authors seek to open the way to constructive
reflection, intentional practice, and ethical consulting choices.
faculty development, academic development, consulting
Gail A. Rathbun and Nancy Turner (2012).
Authenticity in Academic Development: The Myth of Neutrality. International Journal for Academic Development.17 (3), 231-242. London: Routledge.