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Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Phyllis A. Hensley
First Committee Member
Dennis C. Brennan
Second Committee Member
Stephen H. Davis
Third Committee Member
Heather J. Mayne
This study examined the concerns of faculty members related to their university positions at beginning, middle, and late career stages to determine whether there are distinct differences between the concerns at the three stages. Concerns were identified through a quantitative method involving the use of the Faculty Concerns Checklist (FCCL), a list of 74 concerns assessed by respondents according to a five-point Likert scale from "not concerned" to "extremely concerned." A qualitative method was also used and involved interviews with faculty about work-related concerns and forms of assistance they perceived as helpful. Faculty concerns and responses regarding preferred types of assistance were analyzed to determine how these concerns might be best addressed by faculty assistance and development programs.
Relevant data were obtained from 136 (32 early, 57 middle, and 47 late career stage) faculty from three American universities classified as Doctoral/Research Universities-Intensive who responded to the Faculty Concerns Checklist and 18 interviews with faculty.
Analysis of the FCCL found that the concerns of faculty were differentiated according to self and task scales but that impact scales were not significantly different. Concerns of all types were highest at the early career stage and lower at later stages, showing evidence of a developmental continuum that was consistent with Erikson's concept of adult development stages and Loevinger's ego developmental levels. Common to all stages were high levels of concern for balancing time between teaching and research and for student learning and growth. Early career stage faculty were greatly concerned about understanding expectations for performance.
The study concludes that faculty concerns can be addressed by extended orientation programs that help new faculty learn to allocate time among various workload responsibilities, faculty development programming that focuses on one-on-one attention to the needs of individuals within their classrooms, mentoring programs that encourage formative feedback on performance, and direct supervision that explicitly communicates performance expectations and detailed feedback following performance reviews.
Recommendations for additional research include exploration of future uses of the Checklist, advanced age faculty entering the teaching career, faculty views on the vagueness of evaluation criteria, teacher preparation, compensation concerns, and diversity issues.
Purnell, Jean Alberts. (2002). A developmental conceptualization of the concerns of faculty members in higher education : implications for the design of faculty development programs. University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/564
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