The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

7 Terms Unique to Higher Ed

iStock_000015097052SmallThere are lots of things unique about working in higher education. This environment differs in many ways from the corporate world — from the pace of work to how work gets done and more.

One of the first things many who are new to the higher ed workplace notice are the terms and phrases that are specific to colleges and universities. This “higher ed speak” can be confusing and convoluted to those who have come from the corporate world or are just beginning their careers in higher ed. What’s the difference between a chancellor and a president? What are Carnegie classifications? What does IPEDS stand for? Here, we define seven terms as they’re used in the context of higher education.

1)      Chancellor – The chief executive officer of a college, university or system of institutions and agencies. Some higher education institutions use the term “chancellor” to designate the CEO of a system, and the term “president” to designate the CEO of an institution. Others reverse those titles.

2)      Academic Teaching Titles – The traditional hierarchy of academic teaching titles is, from entry-level to senior: instructor, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, professor.

3)      Carnegie Classifications – The universally-accepted, standard framework of categories or identifiers developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to assist those conducting research on higher education in identifying groups of roughly comparable institutions (examples of Carnegie classifications: doctorate-granting, master’s, baccalaureate, associate’s, etc.)

4)      Curriculum Vitae – A term that is synonymous with resume. The focus of the vitae is customarily on academic accomplishments such as degrees, teaching, research, publications, papers presented and honors.

5)      IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) – The data collection program within the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for all primary providers of postsecondary education in the country. Data are collected and analyzed in the areas of enrollment, program completion, graduation rates, faculty, staff, finances, institutional prices and student financial aid.

6)      Faculty Senate – The elected body of representatives from an institution’s faculty who serve in a governance capacity.

7)      Provost – The chief academic officer in an institution responsible for all matters pertaining to faculty.

Want to learn more about the unique environment of higher education? Are you new to higher ed, or do you know someone who is? CUPA-HR’s two e-learning courses — Understanding Higher Education and CUPA-HR Boot Camp — provide the know-how to help new administrators, faculty and staff succeed in the higher ed workplace. Understanding Higher Education provides an introduction to the world of higher ed, and Boot Camp offers the higher ed perspective on essential HR topics. Both courses include access to a comprehensive glossary of higher ed and HR-specific terms that can help you grasp that higher ed speak (and sound wicked smart, to boot)!

Want to gauge your higher ed know-how? Take our quick, 7-question quiz to test your knowledge!