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Will virtual faculty be eligible for tenure: exploring assessment of virtual forms of scholarship

As a population of virtual professors emerges, universities need to find ways to value their contributions and give them access to the same benefits as their non-virtual counterparts. A great risk exists in that virtual professors could become nomadic loners, wandering from one institution to the next, with no reflection on their teaching, service, and role as a faculty member. Institutions of higher education would suffer, having no permanent faculty to ensure a cohesive curriculum and academic mission. Virtual faculty will suffer from a lack of interdisciplinary exposure, collegiality and infrastructure support that improves teaching and research. This paper explores the parallels between virtual and traditional faculty review. Ofthe three criteria, teaching, research and service, service is the most difficult to ensure effective participation of virtual faculty. This paper summarizes gains and losses to virtual faculty work and suggests remedies for successfully integrating virtual faculty.

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