Southeastern Survey of Faculty Job Satisfaction: The Results

September 2003

Office of Institutional Research & Assessment

 

The Southeastern Faculty Senate was concerned about the retention of qualified faculty at Southeastern, and appointed a committee to research the problem.  The committee decided that a survey of the faculty regarding job satisfaction, community satisfaction, etc. was appropriate and asked the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment for assistance.  It was determined that a web-based survey would be the most appropriate, and due to other surveys being conducted and the need for speedy results, the survey was open for completion throughout the Summer 2003 semester.  Faculty were notified several times about the survey via e-mail.  E-mail was sent to 683 faculty.

 

A total of 221 faculty members completed the survey, for a response rate of 32.4%.  There was an even number of tenured and non-tenured faculty, 48.4% (n=107) each.  The majority of respondents, 67.9% (n=150) indicated they were married while 24.4% (n=54) are single.  Approximately 40% (38.9%, n=86) indicated they were born within 200 miles of Southeastern, while 56.6% (n=125) were born further away.  There were more female respondents (n=123, 55.7%) than male respondents (n=85, 38.5%).  Years at Southeastern ranged from one to over 30, with 10.9% (n=24) having been employed 1-3 years, 21.3% (n=47) have been here 4-6 years, 22.2% (n=49) have been here 7-10 years, 15.4% (n=34) have been here 11-15 years, and 24.0% (n=53) have been here 16 or more years.  The majority of the respondents (41.2%, n=91) were in the 45-54 age range, while 7.2% (n=16) were 25-34, 21.3% (n=47) were 35-44, 22.2% (n=49) were 55-64, and 3.6% (n=8) were 65 or older.

 

Table 1

Faculty Satisfaction with Various Aspects of Their Job

 

 

Very Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Very Satisfied

Not Applicable

Mean*

The opportunities for input about the content and methods of the courses I teach

1.8% (4)

7.7% (17)

13.6% (30)

71.0% (157)

4.1% (9)

3.63

The opportunity for input on what courses I teach

4.1% (9)

5.4% (12)

19.5% (43)

64.7% (143)

4.1% (9)

3.55

The number of classes I teach each semester

23.1% (51)

16.3% (36)

16.7% (37)

36.2% (80)

5.4% (12)

2.72

The amount of service I am expected to perform each semester

10.4% (23)

24.0% (53)

30.8% (68)

32.6% (72)

0.9% (2)

2.88

The amount of research I am expected to perform each semester

9.5% (21)

19.5% (43)

29.4% (65)

28.5% (63)

11.3% (25)

2.89


 

Table 1 Cont.

Faculty Satisfaction with Various Aspects of Their Job

 

Very Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Very Satisfied

Not Applicable

Mean*

The time I have for working with students as advisor, mentor, etc.

8.1% (18)

22.2% (49)

36.2% (80)

24.4% (24)

7.2% (16)

2.85

Time available for class preparation

9.0% (20)

20.8% (46)

35.7% (79)

27.6% (61)

5.0% (11)

2.88

Quality of undergraduate students whom I have taught here

14.0% (31)

28.1% (62)

41.6% (92)

10.0% (22)

4.5% (10)

2.51

Quality of graduate students whom I have taught here

2.7% (6)

15.4% (34)

20.8% (46)

16.7% (37)

41.2% (91)

2.93

Funds for conference travel

8.1% (18)

16.3% (36)

24.4% (54)

37.1% (82)

12.7% (27)

3.05

Availability of Graduate Assistant or clerical help for research assistance

21.7% (48)

16.7% (37)

20.4% (45)

11.3% (25)

26.2% (58)

2.30

Support for grant-writing

12.7% (28)

12.7% (28)

27.1% (60)

19.5% (43)

23.5% (52)

2.74

My job security

8.6% (19)

9.5% (21)

30.8% (68)

45.7% (101)

3.6% (8)

3.20

Opportunity for advancement in rank at Southeastern

8.6% (19)

11.3% (25)

48.9% (108)

18.6% (41)

10.9% (24)

2.89

University support in research and other scholarly activity

17.2% (18)

18.1% (40)

0%

23.5% (52)

8.1% (18)

2.51

The effectiveness of faculty leadership at Southeastern (e.g. Faculty Senate, other faculty councils)

9.0% (20)

17.6% (39)

44.8% (99)

24.0% (53)

1.4% (3)

2.88

My salary

21.7% (48)

25.3% (56)

39.8% (88)

10.9% (24)

0.5% (1)

2.41

My health benefits

14.5% (32)

22.6% (50)

34.4% (76)

17.6% (39)

9.5% (21)

2.62

My retirement benefits

12.7% (28)

21.3% (47)

38.5% (85)

23.5% (52)

1.8% (4)

2.76

Other benefits

12.2% (27)

15.4% (34)

37.1% (82)

10.9% (24)

20.4% (45)

2.62

Spouse or partner employment opportunities in this geographic area

8.1% (18)

12.2% (27)

21.7% (48)

14.9% (33)

39.8% (88)

2.76

Educational opportunities for my children

13.1% (29)

13.1% (29)

15.8% (35)

13.6% (30)

41.6% (92)

2.54

Day care opportunities for my children

6.8% (15)

4.1% (9)

7.2% (16)

3.2% (7)

72.9% (161)

2.32

 

 

Summary of Faculty Comments

 

I.          Leadership/ treatment by superiors/evaluation process/perception of self-esteem

Faculty provided a variety of comments regarding the administration and leadership at Southeastern.  Some expressed appreciation of administrators who listen, provide answers, and process requests in a timely manner. Some faculty perceived administrators as good advocates for their needs, and appreciated that faculty raises seem to be a priority at Southeastern.  Areas of concern included a perceived lack of support and respect, and a lack of appreciation of faculty by administrators.   Several expressed dissatisfaction that committee recommendations are ignored or overridden and that faculty service seems to be overlooked and not appreciated.    In the evaluation process, faculty were concerned about administrative politics and favoritism, and the weight given to SOTs.  Additional concerns cited lack of vision and poor communication of directives.