Academic journal article Education

Faculty Scholarly Goals: Relationships between Institutional, Departmental, and Individual's Emphasis

Academic journal article Education

Faculty Scholarly Goals: Relationships between Institutional, Departmental, and Individual's Emphasis

Article excerpt

Despite a large volume of research focusing on the factors influencing goal setting and faculty performance (Chesser & Ellis, 1994; Layzell, 1996; Liddle, Westergren, & Duke, 1997: Milem, Berger, & Dey, 2000: Noser, Manakyan, & Tanner, 1996), little work has been done toward an understanding of the institutional and departmental emphasis and the individual's emphasis on scholarly activities in relation to faculty goal setting. Past research demonstrates that male and female faculty differ in their approach to career planning and goal setting behavior. In general, female faculty have been found to be less likely than males to engage in long-term career goal setting and articulate strategies for achieving long-term goals. From a sample of faculty in a large, research-oriented university, Sorcinelli and Andrews (1987) examined the way faculty members articulate their career goals. Results show that both male and female faculty tended to focus primarily on research goals with a desire to contribute significantly to their discipline through scholarship, followed by teaching and outreach goals. It is argued that this finding is parallel to the stated mission of the university for which faculty work. However, female faculty expressed more uncertainty about their future, more interest in curriculum development, more concern with collegiality, and less satisfaction with their career choice. Male faculty, conversely, expressed greater career satisfaction and more interest in administrative positions.

Faculty members' goal setting behavior is not only influenced by gender but also disciplinary factors (Braxton & Hargens, 1996; Donald, 1990; Eljamal, Stark, Gertrude, & Sharp, 1999). When faculty members develop goals for their careers, the aspects they emphasize vary based on their disciplines. Faculty in different disciplines exhibit different goals for teaching (Franklin & Theall, 1992). For example, humanities faculty place more emphasis on creativity and self-knowledge goals, while mathematics and science professors emphasize facts, principles, and problem solving (Donald, 1990). Furthermore, in a study comparing hospitality-management faculty members' time allocation for different activities to their institution's policy on time allocation, Chesser and Ellis (1994) found that the greatest difference between faculty time allocation and institutional policy was in the area of research. Teaching was the activity area with the least divergence.

New faculty members receive referent and normative information from coworkers, department heads, and the institution itself. Therefore, significant relationships between the institutional and departmental emphasis and the individual's emphasis in teaching, research, and outreach roles are anticipated. For example, as the institution's emphasis in teaching increases, the emphasis of the department and individual emphasis in teaching also increases. Secondly, assigned goals have been observed to directly influence an individual's goal setting behavior. Therefore, a significant relationship between the institutional and/or departmental and individual's emphasis in a particular area and the number of goals attained in that area is anticipated. For example, as the emphasis in teaching increases, the number of teaching goals attained by a faculty member also increases. This study sampled faculty members on tenure-track positions across land grant and state university system from the natural sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences. The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to examine the relationships between the institutional and departmental emphasis and the individual's emphasis on scholarly roles in teaching, research, and outreach, and (2) to examine whether faculty scholarly goals differ based on gender and discipline.

Method

Sample and Procedure

The questionnaires along with a cover letter explaining the study and a self-addressed stamped envelope were mailed to 266 new faculty at the midpoint of their first semester at the institution. …

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