Publications

2019
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Faculty members seek employment in an environment that offers good fit and work satisfaction. As in other countries, higher education institutions in the USA vary by size, disciplinary focus, and emphasis on research. This study examined faculty satisfaction by institution type (baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and research) for recent full-time faculty members in 100 US 4-year institutions. Findings showed that, overall, satisfaction was highest for respondents in baccalaureate colleges. Subsequent analyses to examine strength of difference across institutional type confirmed initial differences for some facets of satisfaction, but not for others. Although differences that contributed to satisfaction by type were limited, results showed that faculty perceptions of the institutional environment firmly contribute to their satisfaction. Additional findings as well as policy and program implications are discussed.

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. Publisher's VersionAbstract

There is renewed interest in shared governance in American higher education. This evidence-based, exploratory study of faculty leadership identifies indicators of health and promising practices for shared stewardship. It also 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 exemplar institutions of various types (baccalaureate, masters, research). These institutions were identified as exemplars through a national faculty satisfaction survey by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). The author argues for an expansive view of faculty leadership as a key component of institutional resilience and the aim of shared stewardship.

facultyleadership_norman_20190911.pdf
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Recent research has examined the well-being of higher education faculty, but it has typically lacked a theoretical model. The present study used self-determination theory to model the well-being of 581 tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members at a large mid-Western university. Volitional autonomy, perceived competence, and perceived relatedness were hypothesized to partially mediate the relationships between several environmental factors (e.g., administrative support, research support, promotion and tenure support) and faculty well-being (i.e., teaching/service satisfaction and global satisfaction). 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 the centrality of psychological needs in understanding the relations between the environment and faculty well-being. Additional implications and future directions for research are discussed.
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). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background/Context: The research on promotion to full professor is sparse. Research that does exist has largely emerged from single campuses and studies conducted through disciplinary associations. Extant studies strongly suggest the presence of equity issues in advancement throughout the academic pipeline. Our study uses cross-institutional results to offer analysis of and potential solutions for the problem

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: We explore the extent to which tenured faculty members at four-year postsecondary institutions are clear about their prospects of being promoted to full professor and how their background characteristics, institutional characteristics, and satisfaction with various aspects of academic work predict their perceptions of promotion clarity. We are focused on whether cultural taxation in the form of heavy service and advising—often associated with underrepresented minority faculty and women faculty—is a factor. We examine the influence of ideal-worker norms and work/family demands on perceptions of promotion clarity. Lastly, we focus on the structural elements of the academy to frame the topic, rather than focusing on individual agency.

Population/Participants/Subjects: This study uses data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey, a large, national study of postsecondary faculty. Our sample consists of 3,246 individuals who held full-time, tenured positions as associate professor at four-year institutions when they responded to the surveys between 2010 and 2012. The sample was roughly divided between males (54%) and females (46%), and most faculty were employed at research institutions (59%). The sample was predominantly White (82%). The characteristics of the associate professors in the sample are representative of the larger U.S. faculty population at the time of the survey.

Research Design: This quantitative study uses descriptive statistics to examine patterns in promotion clarity across various demographic and institutional characteristics. We examine how satisfaction variables intersect with perceptions of promotion clarity for associate professors. Then we conduct a series of linear regression analyses to explore the influence of predictors on associate professors’ sense of clarity about promotion.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Being unclear about expectations of promotion to full professor is clearly of concern to faculty members at four-year universities in the United States, but it is especially of concern to women. Satisfaction with service is a very important variable in predicting perceptions of promotion clarity. For all associate professors, working at certain types of institutions or in particular academic disciplines had an inverse relationship with promotion clarity. The factors associated with lack of clarity about promotion are more structural than individual.

2018
Webber, K. L. (2018). The Working Environment Matters: Faculty Member Job Satisfaction by Institution Type. TIAA Institute (142nd ed.). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Changes to faculty status may discourage new doctoral recipients from pursuing academic careers.

Summary

Ongoing shifts in faculty roles and responsibilities – particularly the increasing use of part-time and nontenure-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 and explores how gender, race, age and other personal factors interact with faculty expectations, experiences, and perceptions of the work environment to determine satisfaction.

Key Insights

  • Although some faculty report low job satisfaction and a few expressed enough dissatisfaction to consider leaving the profession, most full-time faculty appear satisfied with their work.
  • Women report lower salaries than men, but not lower overall job satisfaction.
  • Professors in baccalaureate and master’s institutions seem to achieve better work-life balance than those in doctoral and research universities.
  • Across all types of institutions, many faculty have seen an increase in their workload and express dissatisfaction with rising levels of bureaucracy.

Methodology

Guided by Hagedorn’s (2000) framework for job satisfaction and Rhoades, Eisenberger and Armeli’s (2001) theory of Perceived Organizational Support, the author used an exploratory sequential mixed-methods design to examine survey data from Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. She also interviewed a sample of respondents to explore their level of job satisfaction and intent to leave academia.

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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This book brings together leading practitioners and scholars engaged in professional development programming for and research on mid-career faculty members. The chapters focus on key areas of career development and advancement that can enhance both individual growth and institutional change to better support mid-career faculties.

The mid-career stage is the longest segment of the faculty career and it contains the largest cohort of faculty. Also, mid-career faculty are tasked with being the next generation of faculty leaders and mentors on their respective campuses, with little to no supports to do so effectively, at a time when higher education continues to face unprecedented challenges while managing continued goal of diversifying both the student and faculty bodies.

The stories, examples, data, and resources shared in this book will provide inspiration--and reality checks--to the administrators, faculty developers, and department chairs charged with better supporting their faculties as they engage in academic work. Current and prospective faculty members will learn about trends in mid-career faculty development resources, see examples of how to create such supports when they are lacking on their campuses, and gain insights on how to strategically advance their own careers based on the realities of the professoriate.

The book features a variety of institution types: community colleges, regional/comprehensive institutions, liberal arts colleges, public research universities, ivy league institutions, international institutions, and those with targeted missions such as HSI/MSI and Jesuit.

Topics include faculty development for formal and informal leadership roles; strategies to support professional growth, renewal, time and people management; teaching and learning as a form of scholarship; the role of learning communities and networks as a source of support and professional revitalization; global engagement to support scholarship and teaching; strategies to recruit, retain, and promote underrepresented faculty populations; the policy-practice connection; and gender differences related to key mid-career outcomes.

While the authors acknowledge that the challenges facing the mid-career stage are numerous and varying, they offer a counter narrative by looking at ways that faculty and/or institutions can assert themselves to find opportunities within challenging contexts. They suggest that these challenges highlight priority mentoring areas, and support the creation of new and innovative faculty development supports at institutional, departmental, and individual levels.
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. Publisher's Version
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
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.
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
For this study we used the 2011–2014 survey data collected by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to examine the degree of 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.
(2018). Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College. Skidmore_casestudy_07.17.pdf
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 , 1-28. Publisher's VersionAbstract
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.
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Very few studies have examined issues of work-life balance among faculty of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Utilizing data from Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education project, this study examined predictors of work-life balance for 2953 faculty members from 69 institutions. The final sample consisted of 1059 (36%) Asian American faculty, 512 (17%) African American faculty, 359 (12%) Latina/o faculty, and 1023 (35%) White/Caucasian faculty. There were 1184 (40%) women faculty and 1769 (60%) men faculty. The predictors of worklife 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. Institutional support for making personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible was consistently the strongest positive predictor of perceived work-life balance for all faculty. In addition, satisfaction with time spent on research had positive associations with work-life balance for all faculty, highlighting how faculty from all racial/ethnic backgrounds value being able to spend enough time on their own research.
2017
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
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. In addition, the factors associated with nursing faculties' intent to stay have emerged as important considerations for administrators. The concepts of job satisfaction and intent to stay become vital to recruiting and retaining nursing faculty. In the past decade few empirical studies have been conducted on a national scale to address job satisfaction and intent to stay in academia. The purpose of this retrospective study is to analyze variables of relationships with nurse faculty job satisfaction and intent to stay from data collected throughout the United States. The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey was employed for the purposes of this study. Over 1350 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.
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. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

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.

Purpose

As such, this study 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.

Methods

A secondary data source was used from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Fisher's Least Significant Difference tests and t-tests were used in the analysis.

Discussion/Conclusion

Results indicate that several modifiable work factors positively relate to both job satisfaction and intent to stay.

2016
Lisnic, R. (2016). Reasonableness and clarity of tenure expectations: Gender and race differences in faculty perceptions. University of Arkansas. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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. Faculty assessment of reasonableness of tenure expectations is explored in the first manuscript and faculty perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations are explored in the second and third manuscripts. Job satisfaction data from a sample of 2438 tenure-track assistant professors at research universities is used.

The first manuscript investigates the reasonableness of tenure expectations as it relates to work-life balance. The focus is on whether women’s and men’s appraisal of departmental and institutional support for family-work balance and satisfaction with family-friendly policies influence their perceptions of reasonableness of tenure expectations. Bivariate results reveal that women are less likely than men to report that tenure expectations are reasonable. Multivariate results show that for both women and men assessment of departmental and institutional support for family-work balance and satisfaction with family-friendly policies have a positive influence on their perceptions of reasonableness of tenure expectations.

The second manuscript explores whether women’s and men’s assessment of tenure related departmental practices influence their perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations. Findings reveal that women are less likely than men to perceive the expectations for getting tenure as clear. Other results show that for both men and women assessment of fairness in tenure decision- making and in tenure evaluation, and assessment of received messages about the requirements for tenure have a significant and positive effect on their perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations.

The third manuscript looks at how the intersection of gender and race influences faculty perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations. The study also seeks to identify predictors of perceptions of clarity for the intersectionality defined groups (minority women, minority men, white women, and white men). Bivariate results reveal no significant differences in minority women’s perceptions of clarity compared to all other faculty. The multivariate results show that the model does not explain minority women’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations as well as it explains white women’s and white men’s perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations.

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. Publisher's VersionAbstract
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 survey data collected by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. We found that 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.
Beyond Teaching and Research: Faculty Perceptions of Service Roles at Research Universities
Mamiseishvili, K., Miller, M. T., & Lee, D. (2016). Beyond Teaching and Research: Faculty Perceptions of Service Roles at Research Universities. Innovative Higher Education , 41 (4), 273-285. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Faculty members in higher education institutions frequently have the responsibility of providing service activities to their institutions, professional societies, and external communities. This responsibility, however, generally carries little reward in the workplace and does not play a major role in promotion criteria. For the study we report here we drew upon a sample of 4,400 research university faculty members to explore their satisfaction with service roles by academic rank. Findings showed that mid-career faculty members at the associate professor rank were significantly less satisfied with their service functions, including workload, equity, work balance, recognition, and institutional support, when compared with both assistant and full professors.
2015
Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty
Ott, M. W., & Mathews, K. (2015). Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty. https://coache.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-coache/files/coache_effectiveacademicgovernance_2015.pdf. Click here to download the full textAbstract
The COACHE research-practice partnership is designed to enact organizational change for the benefit of faculty and, by extension, the institution. But does every college's system of shared governance have what it takes to meet their own or, indeed, higher education’s most pressing challenges? This white paper looks beyond the rhetoric toward a more differentiated understanding of the ingredients of effective academic governance. Ott and Mathews offer a five-factor framework grounded in the literature, developed from interviews, and, now, tested in a survey of thousands of faculty. The report concludes with advice for assessing and fostering the qualities of “hard” and “soft” governance practices essential to sustainable change in the “real world” decision-making of committees, assemblies, senates, councils, and unions.
 Understanding the changing faculty workforce in higher education: A comparison of non-tenure track and tenure line experiences
Ott, M., & Cisneros, J. (2015). 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

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.

2014
Perspectives on Midcareer Faculty and Advice for Supporting Them
Mathews, K. (2014). Perspectives on Midcareer Faculty and Advice for Supporting Them. http://coache.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-coache/files/coache-perspectives-on.pdf?m=1447625224 . Cambridge, Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Click here to download the full textAbstract
This 8-page white paper was produced for an invited presentation at the Association of Public Land-grant Universities' (APLU) Council on Academic Affairs Summer Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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