Publications

    Does the environment matter? Faculty satisfaction at 4-year colleges and universities in the USA
    Webber, K. L. (2019). Does the environment matter? Faculty satisfaction at 4-year colleges and universities in the USA. Higher Education , 78 (2), 323-343. Read the full studyAbstract

    Faculty members seek employment in an environment that offers good fit and work satisfaction. This study examined faculty satisfaction by institution type (baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and research) for recent full-time faculty members in 100 4-year institutions in the United States.

    Analysis of the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey showed that respondents in baccalaureate colleges reported the highest satisfaction. Subsequent analyses to examine strength of difference across institutional type confirmed initial differences for some facets of satisfaction, but not for others. Results showed that faculty perceptions of the institutional environment firmly contribute to their satisfaction. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for policies and programs.

    Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions
    Norman, B. (2019). Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 51 (4), 48-54. Read the full studyAbstract

    There is renewed interest in shared governance in American higher education. This evidence-based, exploratory study of faculty leadership identifies promising practices for shared stewardship and provides follow-up questions for senior leaders to assess the state of faculty leadership and shared governance on their own campuses. The findings are based on interviews with chief academic officers or faculty officers and chief elected faculty leaders at baccalaureate, masters, and research institutions identified as exemplars through the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. The author argues for an expansive view of faculty leadership as a key component of institutional resilience.

    The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs
    Larson, L. M., Seipel, M. T., Shelley, M. C., Gahn, S. W., Ko, S. Y., Schenkenfelder, M., Rover, D. T., et al. (2019). The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs. Journal of Career Assessment , 27 (1), 167-182. Read the studyAbstract

    In response to recent research on the well-being of higher education faculty, which has lacked a theoretical model, this study used self-determination theory to model the well-being of 581 tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members at a large midwestern university. The study looked at the relationships between environmental factors (e.g., administrative support, research support, promotion and tenure support) and faculty well-being (i.e., teaching/service satisfaction and global satisfaction), hypothesizing that volitional autonomy, perceived competence, and perceived relatedness would partially mediate these relationships. Results of path analysis indicated that all relations between the environment and teaching/service satisfaction were fully mediated by volitional autonomy and perceived competence, whereas all relations between the environment and global satisfaction were partially mediated by perceived relatedness. These findings highlight that psychological needs are central in understanding the relations between the environment and faculty well-being. The study discusses additional implications and future directions for research.

    The possibility of promotion: How race and gender predict promotion clarity for associate professors
    Kulp, A., Wolf-Wendel, L., & Smith, D. (2019). The possibility of promotion: How race and gender predict promotion clarity for associate professors. Teachers College Record , 121 (5). Read the full studyAbstract

    Past studies have strongly suggested that equity issues affect advancement through the academic pipeline. This study uses cross-institutional results from the 2010 through 2012 Faculty Job Satisfaction Surveys to offer analysis and potential solutions for the problem.

    The study asks whether cultural taxation in the form of heavy service and advising—often associated with underrepresented minority faculty and women faculty—is a factor in advancement through the academic pipeline, and also examines the influence of ideal-worker norms and work/family demands on perceptions of promotion clarity. The analysis suggests that the factors associated with lack of clarity about promotion are more structural than individual.

    2017 Year in Review: The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education
    (2018). 2017 Year in Review: The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Read the year in reviewAbstract

    In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Collaborative welcomed our largest and most diverse cohort of Faculty Job Satisfaction partners to date with over 60 higher education institutions—public and private, two- and four-year—joining our ranks. After a successful pilot, we launched the first ever multi-institutional study of Faculty Retention and Exit to 12 institutions nationwide in the spring and 22 in the fall. And to complement our survey offerings, we adapted our reporting platform to be more robust than ever, with additional race and ethnicity categories and academic area analyses.

     

    (2018). Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Midcareer Faculty. Watch the webinarAbstract

    Mid-career faculty actively seek professional satisfaction and personal well-being in their careers at the departmental and institutional level. However, a growing body of research tells us that the policies and practices in place at colleges and universities do not always support this goal. This webinar, “Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Mid-Career Faculty,” offers an inside take on the themes of the book Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty and provide real-world best practices from practitioners in the field.

    The Working Environment Matters: Faculty Member Job Satisfaction by Institution Type
    Webber, K. L. (2018). The Working Environment Matters: Faculty Member Job Satisfaction by Institution Type. TIAA Institute (142nd ed.). Read the reportAbstract

    Ongoing shifts in faculty roles and responsibilities—particularly the increasing use of part-time and non tenure-track positions—may lower faculty job satisfaction and diminish academia’s appeal for highly qualified candidates. Faculty attitudes, in turn, can have concomitant effects on student learning, academic scholarship and institutional success. This study examines faculty job satisfaction across different types of institutions using data from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey and explores how gender, race, age and other personal factors interact with faculty expectations, experiences, and perceptions of the work environment to determine satisfaction.

    Although some faculty reported low job satisfaction and a few expressed enough dissatisfaction to consider leaving the profession, most full-time faculty appear satisfied with their work. Women reported lower salaries than men, but not lower overall job satisfaction.

     

    Evidence-Based Faculty Development: The COACHE Research-Practice Partnership
    Mathews, K., & Benson, R. T. (2018). Evidence-Based Faculty Development: The COACHE Research-Practice Partnership. In Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty . Stylus Publishing, LLC. Read the bookAbstract

    This book brings together leading practitioners and scholars engaged in professional development programming for and research on mid-career faculty members, those tasked with being the next generation of faculty leaders and mentors on their respective campuses, with little to no supports to do so effectively.

    The stories, data, and resources shared in this book will provide inspiration—and reality checks—to administrators, faculty developers, and department chairs charged with supporting their faculties as they engage in academic work. Topics include faculty development for formal and informal leadership roles; strategies to support professional growth; teaching and learning as a form of scholarship; and strategies to recruit, retain, and promote underrepresented faculty populations.

    While the authors acknowledge that mid-career faculty members face numerous challenges, this collection offers a counter narrative by looking at ways that faculty and/or institutions can assert themselves to find opportunities within challenging contexts.

    Growing Our Own: Cultivating Faculty Leadership
    Mathews, K. (2018). Growing Our Own: Cultivating Faculty Leadership. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 50 (3-4), 88-92. Read the full articleAbstract

    To overcome the pressures pulling the academy apart, presidents and provosts, governing boards and legislatures, foundations and associations should commit to the cultivation of leadership from faculty members and by them. As the faculty profession and population become increasingly complex, leaders will need skills in relating, sensemaking, visioning, and inventing. A skills inventory conducted among provosts, deans, and senior faculty development administrators revealed that while most had strengths in the first two categories, their visioning and inventing skills were less developed. Institutions can cultivate these skills in faculty and invite faculty into the leadership process—and they must do so in order to effectively develop the faculties of the future.

    Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices
    Lisnic, R., Zajicek, A., & Morimoto, S. (2018). Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Read the articleAbstract
    The authors look at how the intersection of gender and race influences pre-tenure faculty members’ perceptions of the clarity of tenure expectations. The authors also seek to identify potential predictors (assessment of mentoring, relationships with peers, feedback on progress toward tenure, and fairness in tenure decision making and evaluation) of perceptions of tenure clarity for four intersectionally defined groups, including historically underrepresented minority women (URMW). The authors use an intersectional perspective and the gendered and racialized organizations’ theoretical lens to interpret the results. The data set comes from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. Findings show that compared with white men, URMW are less satisfied with their relationships with peers and with the fairness in the evaluation of their work. They are also less likely to agree that mentoring is effective, that tenure decisions are fair, and that messages about tenure are consistent.
    International Faculty Perceptions of Departmental Climate and Workplace Satisfaction
    Mamiseishvili, K., & Lee, D. (2018). International Faculty Perceptions of Departmental Climate and Workplace Satisfaction. Innovative Higher Education , 43 (5), 323–338. Read the full studyAbstract

    Although the variability in the definitions and immigration status of international academics makes it challenging to provide the exact number of foreign-born faculty members teaching and conducting research in U.S. postsecondary institutions, all data accounts have pointed to a steady growth in this segment of the professoriate. This study used data from the 2011-2014 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to examine international faculty members’ satisfaction with autonomy, interactions with colleagues, departmental climate, and recognition and the effect of these elements upon the overall workplace satisfaction of international faculty members relative to their U.S. citizen peers.

    This study helps identify factors that can enhance international faculty members’ satisfaction in order to aid institutions in their efforts not only to recruit the best talent but also to support and retain such talent.

     

    Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College
    (2018). Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College. Download the case studyAbstract

    Historically, academic departments at Skidmore College operated with large degrees of autonomy from one another. Groups rarely collaborated, which made it difficult for faculty and administrators to address climate and leadership challenges across divisions. In the absence of a centralized group equipped with the tools and resources needed to address these issues, Skidmore partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) and conducted the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to identify ways to improve departmental climates.

    Using Skidmore’s survey results as a baseline for their first meeting, the team, which Skidmore leaders dubbed the ‘COACHE Collaborators’, worked together to identify three areas of departmental climate in need of attention: collegiality, diversity and inclusion, and work-life balance.

    Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled?
    Webber, K. L., & Rogers, S. M. (2018). Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled? Research in Higher Education , 59, 1-28. Read the articleAbstract

    Guided by Hagedorn’s (2000) theory of faculty job satisfaction, mindful of social and organizational structures of higher education, and acknowledging recent changes in the academic labor market, this study examines satisfaction for approximately 30,000 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in 100 US colleges and universities. Findings revealed similarity between female and male faculty members in some aspects of work satisfaction, but difference in other areas in which women reported lower satisfaction. Findings also revealed that perceptions of department fit, recognition, work role balance, and mentoring are more important to women faculty’s satisfaction than male peers. These findings have implications for policy and practice.

    Correlates of Work-Life Balance for Faculty Across Racial/Ethnic Groups
    Denson, N., Szelényi, K., & Bresonis, K. (2018). Correlates of Work-Life Balance for Faculty Across Racial/Ethnic Groups. Research in Higher Education , 59 (2), 226-247. Read the full studyAbstract

    Very few studies have examined issues of work-life balance among faculty of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Utilizing data from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, this study examined predictors of work-life balance for 2,953 faculty members from 69 institutions. The predictors of work-life balance included faculty characteristics, departmental/institutional characteristics and support, and faculty satisfaction with work. While African American women faculty reported less work-life balance than African American men, the reverse was true for Latina/o faculty. In addition, White faculty who were single with no children were significantly less likely to report having work-life balance than their married counterparts with children. Faculty rank was a significant positive predictor of work-life balance for all faculty. Notably, the findings highlight the importance of department and institutional support for making personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible. In addition, satisfaction with time spent on research had positive associations with work-life balance for all faculty.

    (2017). Building a Better Exit Study: A National Effort to Understand Faculty Retention & Turnover. Watch the webinarAbstract

    In 2016, COACHE partnered with the University of California System to pilot our newest undertaking -- the Faculty Retenion and Exit Survey. This survey is the only multi-institutional study of faculty retention and exit, and examines the costs, conduct, and causes of faculty turnover. 

    In this webinar, Kiernan Mathews and Todd Benson describe how the survey came to be, and outline some of the initial findings from the pilot study along with some practical recommendations for Academic Affairs administrators. 

    Revealing Data on Faculty Retention & Departure
    (2017). Revealing Data on Faculty Retention & Departure. Learn more about the dataAbstract

    In 2017, after a successful pilot with several campuses of a large public university system, COACHE launched the Faculty Retention and Exit Survey nationwide. This study represents the first multi-institutional survey of faculty retentions (among those with outside offers) and departures. Until now, there was no coordinated effort for universities to develop a common understanding of the causes, costs, and conduct of faculty mobility.

    Among the takeaways: More than half of faculty ranked salary as a secondary factor or not a factor in their decision to stay or leave. But 67% selected quality of colleagues as a compelling factor. The study also found that faculty are expected to cultivate outside offers before they can ask for a better deal at home, and that this requirement pushes them out the door: nearly 1 in 3 faculty who left originally sought the offer only to renegotiate the terms of their employment.

    College nursing faculty job satisfaction and retention: A national perspective
    Lee, P., Miller, M. T., Kippenbrock, T. A., Rosen, C., & Emory, J. (2017). College nursing faculty job satisfaction and retention: A national perspective. Journal of Professional Nursing , 33 (4), 261-266. Read the articleAbstract

    The need for registered nurses in the United States continues to grow. To meet this need for increased numbers of nurses, recruitment and retention of qualified nurse educators has become a priority, and job satisfaction and nursing faculties’ intent to stay have emerged as important considerations for administrators.

    The purpose of this study is to analyze variables of relationships with nurse faculty job satisfaction and intent to stay from data collected throughout the United States. The Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey was employed for the purposes of this study. Over 1,350 nurse educators were included in the survey. The findings support a variety of modifiable variables that are viewed as important by nursing faculty. The strongest relationship was found to be institutional leadership. The implications can inform academic administrators seeking to retain nursing faculty.

    Academic nursing administrators' workplace satisfaction and intent to stay
    Emory, J., Lee, P., Miller, M. T., Kippenbrock, T., & Rosen, C. (2017). Academic nursing administrators' workplace satisfaction and intent to stay. Nursing Outlook , 65 (1), 77-83. Read the full studyAbstract
    In nursing education, the academic administrator is critical given the multitude of challenges associated with program delivery (e.g., shortages of faculty, strict and changing regulations for program accreditation, and the sheer demand for more nurses). Unfortunately, with the focus on recruiting and retaining new novice faculty to teach students, academic nursing administrators have been overlooked in recent studies. As such, this study, which uses data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, aims to explore the workplace satisfaction and intent to stay of academic nursing administrators by considering their relation to a variety of demographic and work related variables. Results indicate that several modifiable work factors positively relate to both job satisfaction and intent to stay.
    Lisnic, R. (2016). Reasonableness and clarity of tenure expectations: Gender and race differences in faculty perceptions. University of Arkansas. Read the dissertationAbstract

    This dissertation studies how higher education policies and practices can affect faculty retention and proposes changes that higher education institutions need to make to retain their faculty. The first manuscript investigates the reasonableness of tenure expectations as it relates to work-life balance, the second explores whether women’s and men’s assessments of tenure-related departmental practices influence their perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations, and the third looks at how the intersection of gender and race influences faculty perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations. The dissertation uses Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data from a sample of 2,438 tenure-track assistant professors at research universities.

     

    Administrative Hierarchy and Faculty Work: Examining Faculty Satisfaction with Academic Leadership
    Miller, M. T., Mamiseishvili, K., & Lee, D. (2016). Administrative Hierarchy and Faculty Work: Examining Faculty Satisfaction with Academic Leadership. Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education , 12 (1), 1-7. Read the studyAbstract
    Academic administrators at all levels have some impact on the performance of faculty members, yet each level of administration may interact differently with faculty. Literature has strongly supported the notion that department chairs, deans, and provosts can positively influence the performance and livelihood of faculty members. This study was designed to explore faculty satisfaction with each level of academic administration making use of the 2014 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data collected by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Faculty members at research universities were more satisfied with leadership at the departmental than college or institutional levels. Furthermore, assistant professors were significantly more satisfied with academic leadership at all levels than both associate and full professors.

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