What Contributes to Job Satisfaction among Faculty and Staff

What Contributes to Job Satisfaction among Faculty and Staff

What Contributes to Job Satisfaction among Faculty and Staff

What Contributes to Job Satisfaction among Faculty and Staff

Synopsis

This is the 105th issue of the quarterly "New Directions for Institutional Research,"

Excerpt

An introduction and framework for the volume, this
chapter introduces a general model of faculty satisfaction,
applies it to college and university faculty, and tests it
using a national database.

The well being of the university depends on its ability to recruit
and retain a talented professoriat. Our national well being
depends on our ability to develop a happy, emotionally healthy,
and productive next generation.

—Nancy Hensel (1991, p. 79)

Although the importance of faculty satisfaction is readily apparent to college professors, it may appear truly different to outsiders of the ivory tower. To the casual observer, faculty satisfaction is at best a trivial concern easily superseded by the more urgent concerns of student outcomes such as academic achievement and financial efficiency. Whether or not Hensel (1991) overstated the importance of faculty satisfaction in the opening quote by linking it with our national well-being, popular opinion has been coaxed to distrust the college professor and pay scant attention to faculty satisfaction. As early as the 1930s criticisms of the academic system were surfacing (Hutchins, 1936). The tone of criticism changed through the decades. Consider Holland's (1985) portrayal of academe in the 1960s and early 1970s as a bleak episode in the history of American higher education. The 1980s brought Bloom's popular book The Closing of the American Mind (1987), casting a dark shadow over the American higher education system and fomenting considerable public criticism. More recently, we witness the harsh . . .

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