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Examining Faculty Satisfaction, Productivity, and Collegiality in Higher Education: Contemporary Contexts and Modern Methods

Victorino, Christine
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara.Education
Degree Supervisor:
ConleyNylund-Gibson SharonKaren
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Education and Higher education

In response to current discourse surrounding faculty accountability and diversity, this dissertation describes three separate studies of faculty satisfaction, productivity, and collegiality in higher education. Using national faculty data, the studies employed advanced quantitative methods including structural equation modeling, multi-level models, and latent class analysis to analyze and interpret faculty data at four-year colleges and universities. The three studies also examined differences by gender, race/ethnicity, tenure status, and institutional type.

The first study revealed a strong, positive, and highly significant relationship between campus racial climate and faculty satisfaction at the individual level of analysis, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, and tenure status. Further, women and racial/ethnic minority held significantly more negative perceptions of campus racial climate at the individual level. Campus faculty attitudes regarding campus racial climate and faculty satisfaction at the institutional level were positively related to faculty perceptions at the individual level.

The second study empirically identified five distinct classes of faculty productivity, with respect to gender, race, institutional type, and levels of faculty satisfaction. The classes revealed complex patterns of teaching and research productivity and were labeled as follows: Research-Focused Faculty, Balanced Faculty, Teaching-Focused Faculty, High Teaching with Moderate Research Faculty, and Developing Research Faculty (listed in order of highest to lowest mean levels of faculty satisfaction). White and male faculty were more likely to be represented in the Research-Focused Faculty Class, and non-White faculty were more likely to be represented in the Developing Research Faculty class. Female faculty were also more likely to be represented in the Balanced Faculty and Teaching-Focused Faculty classes.

The third and final study examined the relationships among faculty collegiality, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Significant findings indicated that faculty collegiality was strongly and positively related to job satisfaction, and negatively related to turnover intentions, regardless of gender and race/ethnicity. Women faculty and faculty of color indicated lower levels of collegiality, and faculty of color reported lower job satisfaction and higher turnover intentions.

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