Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

The Role of the Mentor in Retaining Junior Pharmacy Faculty Members

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

The Role of the Mentor in Retaining Junior Pharmacy Faculty Members

Article excerpt

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) has identified faculty retention as a top concern since 76 colleges of pharmacy reported a total of 406 vacant and/or lost positions in the 20042005 academic year. Since today's junior faculty members are tomorrow's leaders in pharmacy education, retention of quality faculty members is critical to our future. Mentoring is one effective method of retaining faculty members and decreasing workplace stress, especially in the area of scholarship. However, in the last decade, the disproportionate increase of junior faculty members to the number of senior faculty members employed has resulted in a major limitation of the dyad (mentor and protege) mentoring process. One effective method of overcoming this limitation is the use of the triad mentoring model (organization, mentor, and protege). Colleges of pharmacy that consider adopting this triad model will likely promote an environment that nurtures relationships, resulting in job satisfaction, and thereby leading to retention of junior faculty members. Keywords: mentor, administration, academia, junior faculty, faculty development

INTRODUCTION

Since today's junior faculty members are tomorrow's leaders in pharmacy education, retention of quality faculty members is critical to paving a successful pathway to our future. With the acute pharmacy faculty shortage, (1) retention of an institution's current faculty members is paramount. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) has identified faculty retention as a top issue of concern since 76 colleges of pharmacy reported a total of 406 vacant and/or lost positions in 2004-2005. (2) Of the 406 vacant/lost positions, 49.3% were from the clinical science/pharmacy practice department, followed by pharmaceutical science at 34.0%, administrative science at 4.9%. and non-instructional or administrative positions at 11.1%. (2) Enrollment of student pharmacists into pharmacy programs has increased each year from 2000 to 2005 (3) and likely will continue to rise. With this increased enrollment, colleges of pharmacy have experienced an increased need for personnel, especially in regard to faculty members. Therefore, it may well be in the best interest of colleges and schools of pharmacy to focus their efforts on improving faculty retention, especially if an institution's faculty turnover rate is high. Analysis of the employee turnover by Mobley et al showed a positive correlation between decreased job satisfaction and increased turnover rates of employees. (4) The high turnover rates seen within academic pharmacy departments are thought to be associated with job stress, as suggested by Carter et al. (5) In 1993, Jackson et al published information about stress in pharmacy faculty members as part of their analysis of burnout, with burnout defined as "a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and/or cynicism. " (6) The activities in which the faculty experienced the most stress were related to the availability of time. Associated factors producing the stress included insufficient faculty training needed to conduct research activities. Also, inadequate salaries led some faculty members to pursue part-time work outside academia, further confounding perceived time demands. In 2001, Latif and Grillo established new information about junior faculty members' satisfaction with the 3 aspects of their job: teaching, service, and scholarly or research activities. The results demonstrated that junior faculty members were most satisfied with their teaching role and least satisfied with their research role. (7) This dissatisfaction was linked to lack of time allocated for their research activities. (7) Glover and Deziel-Evans concluded that if increased research activities were desired in non-tenured or junior faculty members, then time allocated to other areas should be reduced . (8) From this review of the literature, it was concluded that to achieve an increase in faculty retention, especially of younger and less-experienced faculty members, it is crucial that college administrators engage in efforts to collaborate, implement, and support mentoring objectives and goals for each faculty member. …

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