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Survey: Most Faculty ‘Happy,’ Those Who Aren’t May Leave

September 29, 2022

A new survey of 1,024 faculty members at 581 colleges and universities by education technology provider Cengage finds that 64 percent are happy in their current roles, but those who are not happy are considering leaving: some 26 percent are dissatisfied, and 70 percent of those not satisfied have considered changing jobs in the past six months. The top driver of dissatisfaction was feeling unsupported by one’s institution, followed by feeling undervalued or underpaid.

“Almost all faculty say their role as an educator has changed, including how they’re spending their time each day as they manage multiple course modalities, meet new creative content demands and keep up with student communication needs,” Erin Joyner, senior vice president for product at Cengage, said in a statement. “Their connection with students—teaching, helping and mentoring them, is the greatest driver of satisfaction for faculty but they are continually pulled away from that because of competing priorities.”

Some 61 percent of faculty members surveyed reported that they’ve been significantly impacted by trying to keep up with student communication, and 52 percent said they’re spending more time communicating with students about class content. Regarding the faculty workday, faculty members reported spending 42 percent of their time on teaching, on average; 31 percent on course preparation; 14 percent on administrative tasks; and 13 percent of time connecting with students. Some 88 percent of faculty members said that teaching, helping and mentoring students was one of the most satisfying aspects of the job, but that other duties compete for time with this. Seventy-seven percent said managing multiple course modalities has had a significant impact on their role. Eighteen percent said they are spending less time teaching over all.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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