Essays in Education


This study is an extension of the preliminary study on faculty attitudes toward the processes of promotion and tenure in higher education. It began when several colleagues banded together and submitted proposals to a national conference establishing a panel to discuss promotion and tenure, which were subsequently accepted. The panel proposal consisted of: (1) a comparison and analysis of the tenure and promotion process at two institutions; (2) an analysis on mentoring a newly hired non-tenured colleague for the academic year; (3) an analysis of being mentored during the entry year at an institution; and finally; (4) an analysis of the promotion and tenure process from the perspective of a female who later became an administrator. The conference attendees posed even more questions about the promotion and tenure process and the need for additional study became apparent. Curious about college faculty perceptions, a focus group consisting of faculty was organized.

Based on literature reviews and focus group results, a questionnaire was developed. It was used to answer the following: what is the relationship between attitudes toward promotion and tenure and current faculty tenure status? And what is the relationship between attitudes toward promotion and tenure and gender of the faculty?

The survey on “Tenure and Promotion” was posted online and members of National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) and Association or the Advancement of Educational Research (AARE) were requested to participate in the survey. Ninety-nine faculty members representing different educational institutes across the country completed the questionnaire. The names of these institutions are listed in the appendix. A chi square analysis revealed four items were statistically significant. Discussion of the results follows. Written comments supplied by the respondents are also detailed. Conclusions include a recommendation for further research to increase the database (population) to enhance future statistical analyses.

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