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Spring 2020 Graduate Class - The Professoriate

PR 6315 - 003: Special Topics in Public Relations: The Professoriate

Spring 2020

CRN: 58968

Instructor: Dr. Weiwu Zhang

This is essentially a “Being a College Professor 101” course that provides guidance and tools to help doctoral students and junior faculty members navigate through the various phases of their academic career. It provides both academic and personal account about finding a mentor, building a program of research, finishing the dissertation, obtaining an academic job, earning tenure, and academic midlife after making tenure, etc. It covers wide-ranging topics such as the structure of academic career, varying faculty roles depending on the Carnegie classification of institutions, and how to make the most of the doctoral program in preparing for one’s future academic career. Then it focuses on the nuts and bolts of finding an academic position, including writing effective application materials, techniques for the academic job interviews, the job talk and teaching demonstration, negotiating job offers, and non-academic job opportunities for Ph.D. degree holders. The third part of the course emphasizes life as an assistant professor, strategies of publishing scholarly research and obtaining external research grants, strategies of being an effective instructor, mentoring graduate students, the importance of professionalism and human dimensions in earning tenure, all while maintaining healthy work-life balance. In sum, this class serves two goals: how to find a job in academia and how to succeed in it (making tenure, etc.).

Contact Dr. Weiwu Zhang at for course details. 


Weiwu Zhang


CoMC Dept of PR