Senior Faculty Satisfaction: Perceptions of Associate and Full Professors at Seven Public Research Universities

Cathy Ann Trower, Ph.D.
Research Director, Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE)
Harvard Graduate School of Education
TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow

June 2011 | Issue # 101

The engagement, productivity, and vitality of the faculty are extremely important to the success of academic institutions in fulfilling their missions. This paper presents data from a survey of 1,775 tenured associate and full professors at seven public universities, showing that many are frustrated about leadership turnover and the corresponding shifts in mission, focus, and priorities, and also about salary. In addition, associate professors are less satisfied than full professors on critical factors such as support for research, collaboration, and clarity of promotion, and women are less satisfied than men on numerous dimensions including mentoring support for research and interdisciplinary work, and clarity of promotion.

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