Non-tenure track faculty are a growing majority in American higher education, but research examining their work lives is limited. Moreover, the theoretical frameworks commonly used by scholars have been critiqued for reliance on ideologically charged assumptions. Using a conceptual model developed from Hackman and Oldham’s (1980) Job Characteristics Model (JCM) and prior research on faculty workplace experiences, this study considers the extent to which full-time non-tenure track and tenure line faculty share a professionalized approach to their jobs, working conditions, and how this is associated with their organizational commitment. Findings demonstrate important consistencies in full-time faculty views of their workplaces and jobs across appointment type. Satisfaction with resources, rewards, autonomy and feedback had a significant positive relationship with odds of organizational commitment for all faculty groups. Overall, the results suggest being removed from the tenure track is not associated with faculty viewing their jobs in a substantially different way than those in tenure line positions, which underscores the importance of conceptualizing full-time faculty work as an integrated whole.
Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2018).
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 of 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 Harvard University Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey of tenure-track faculty job satisfaction (2011 and 2012). Bivariate results reveal no significant differences in URMW’s perceptions of tenure clarity compared with all other faculty members. However, findings show that compared with white men (WM), URMW are less satisfied with the relationships with peers and with the fairness in the evaluation of their work. Moreover, they are also less likely to agree that mentoring is effective, that tenure decisions are fair, and that messages about tenure are consistent. The multivariate results indicate that the proposed explanatory model does not explain URMW’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations as well as it explains white women’s and WM’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations.
Effects of generation on tenure-track faculty satisfaction. Western Carolina University. Publisher's Version(2013).
New Challenges, New Priorities: The Experience of Generation X Faculty. http://coache.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-coache/files/coache_genx-newchallengesnewpriorities_2010.pdf?m=1456518493 . Cambridge, Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Publisher's Version(2010).
Perspectives on What Pre-Tenure Faculty Want and What Six Research Universities Provide. http://coache.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-coache/files/coache_perspectives.pdf?m=1447624837 . Cambridge, Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Publisher's Version(2008).
Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled? Research in Higher Education , 1-28. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2018).
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. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Young Faculty and their Impact on Academe . In Generational Shockwaves and the Implications for Higher Education . Heller, D. & D'Ambrosio, M., Eds. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2008).
Cathy A. Trower Every generation blames the one before. And all of their frustrations come beating on your door. (Song lyrics “The Living Years,” 1988 Mike & The Mechanics) Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. (George Orwell, author) Each generation must recreate liberty for its own times. (Florence E. Allen, Federal Judge) Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages. (Hervey Allen, poet)* Whichever quote you prefer, there’s plenty here to make us stop and think about the generations: blame, imagined superiority, recreation of liberty, and savagery! This is juicy stuﬀ and it is not just fodder for good songs and great quotes; these themes are playing themselves out right now in the hallowed halls of academe. Because I agree with C. Stone Brown (2005) who wrote, “it’s counterproductive to judge generational diﬀerences as a right way or a wrong way of doing tasks or learning, because there are diﬀerences in how generations feel about work, learn new tasks, and process information” (p. 30), the purpose of this chapter is threefold, to: (1) highlight the values that shaped the policies and practices composed by the Lost Generation (born 1883–1900), which worked well for the GI (1901–24), Silent (1925–42) and Baby Boom (1943–60) Generations, which do not work so well for the 13th Generation (referred to throughout this chapter as Generation X or Gen X (1961–811)...
Toward a Greater Understanding of the Tenure Track for Minorities. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 41 (5), 38-45. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2009).
To understand what life on the tenure track is like, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) conducts an annual survey of tenure-track faculty. Through surveys and in focus groups and interviews, hundreds of tenure-track faculty members tell what affects their workplace satisfaction and, ultimately, their success. The clarity and reasonableness of the criteria and standards for achieving tenure, institutional and collegial support for teaching and research, the effectiveness of workplace policies and practices, departmental climate and collegiality, and work/life balance are among the issues addressed. In 2009, for the first time, COACHE had collected enough faculty respondents who self-identified in each racial and ethnic category, in proportions similar to their representation in the faculty population nationally, to look at each group separately and see how their experiences of academe differ. An examination of the different groups' experiences of faculty life is important to the welfare of students. This article presents a series of commonly asked questions about how the COACHE research probed the issues and what they discovered about them. (Contains 3 figures and 6 resources.)
A New Generation of Faculty: Similar Core Values in a Different World. Peer Review , 12 (3), 27-30. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2010).
While tenure-track faculty may want the same things as their predecessors, younger Boomers (born 1956-1963) and Gen X faculty live and work in a very different world than older Boomers (born 1946-1955) and Traditionalists (born before 1946). Because of this, Gen Xers, in particular, have been vocal about wanting increased flexibility, greater integration of their work and home lives, more transparency of tenure and promotion processes, a more welcoming, diverse, and supportive workplace/department, and more frequent and helpful feedback about progress.
Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction (pp. 288) . Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2012).
Landing a tenure-track position is no easy task. Achieving tenure is even more difficult. Under what policies and practices do faculty find greater clarity about tenure and experience higher levels of job satisfaction? And what makes an institution a great place to work? In 2005–2006, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty at 200 participating institutions to assess their job satisfaction. The survey was designed around five key themes for faculty satisfaction: tenure clarity, work-life balance, support for research, collegiality, and leadership. Success on the Tenure Track positions the survey data in the context of actual colleges and universities and real faculty and administrators who talk about what works and why. Best practices at the highest-rated institutions in the survey—Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina at Pembroke—give administrators practical, proven advice on how to increase their employee satisfaction. Additional chapters discuss faculty demographics, trends in employment practices, what leaders can do to create and sustain a great workplace for faculty, and what the future might hold for tenure. An actively engaged faculty is crucial for American higher education to retain its global competitiveness. Cathy Ann Trower’s analysis provides colleges and universities a considerable inside advantage to get on the right track toward a happy, productive workforce.
Gen X Meets Theory X: What New Scholars Want. Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2012).
“If they can’t understand that I want a kick-ass career and a kick-ass life, then I don’t want to work here,” sums up how many Generation X’ers (born between 1965 and 1980) view their workplace, according to Lancaster and Stillman (2002, p. 107). Further, “Why does it matter when I come and go, as long as I get the work done?” (p. 114). As a group, Gen X’ers are willing to work hard but want to decide when, where, and how. As this generation enters the professoriate in large numbers, some academic institutions may be wondering what hit them. Gen X has met Theory X (a metaphor for a 1960’s workplace) and it is not a pretty sight.
Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues. The Journal of Higher Education , 82 (3), 319-346. Publisher's VersionAbstract(2011).
This study examines pre-tenure faculty members' perception of collegial relationships with colleagues. We primarily focus on the organizational socialization of female faculty and faculty of color, and faculty in different pre-tenure career stages. We found differences in satisfaction with collegial relationships between faculty by gender, race, and pre-tenure career stages.
Understanding the changing faculty workforce in higher education: A comparison of non-tenure track and tenure line experiences. education policy analysis archives , 23 (90). Publisher's VersionAbstract(2015).