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Faculty perspectives of satisfaction at a large, public, research university

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Item Summary

Title: Faculty perspectives of satisfaction at a large, public, research university
Authors: Evans, David Phillip
Keywords: faculty morale
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Higher education today is in the midst of massive transformation and the current landscape of change is unprecedented because of the sheer number of institution-molding forces that are at play and the pervasive impact these forces are having on reshaping the academy. These wide-ranging, seismic shifts have affected every aspect of faculty work life and are inextricably connected to a troubling perception of a weakened environment for academic work that is evident across all institutional types.
Through the use of a qualitative, multiple case study design, this research examined the level, sources, and nature of the satisfaction of faculty at a large, public, research university. With the objective to inform all constituents of the importance of higher education, suggestions and examples of best practices are suggested in the Implications for Practice section. Hagedorn's Conceptual Framework of Faculty Satisfaction (2000) was used as the theoretical framework and an extensive literature review focused on satisfaction and motivation, evolution of leadership theory, academic freedom, and the evolution of the academy. Data was collected through multiple semi-structured interviews that used artifacts and depictions of academic journeys in order to triangulate findings.
Six themes emerged from the cross-case analysis: family, collegiality, making a difference, security, tenure and promotion, administration and the changing landscape of higher education. Findings indicate that the considerable changes documented in the literature are indeed affecting almost every aspect of faculty life and satisfaction for the participants in this study. Concern over shrinking budgets and having to do more with less, increased demands to conduct assessments and be accountable, diminished quality of students, and an eroding public perception of what faculty do, have all conspired to negatively impact the enjoyment faculty are experiencing in their work life.
The study findings allow for the advancement of Hagedorn's Conceptual Framework by supporting factors that were defined by the participants' as affecting their levels of satisfaction. Additionally, as the study did not determine an interaction between one factor and another (triggers), the Implications for Theory section proposes changes to the model that add, delete, and re-categorize various factors.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Education

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