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Zola,

http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/13/faculty

Alan Craig

Instructional Support Services Coordinator
Georgia Perimeter College--Dunwoody Campus
Dunwoody, GA 30338
770-274-5242
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-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Zola Gordy
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Seeking source: Faculty Frets About Declining Student Quality


Dan Kern,

What is the source of this article, Faculty Frets about Student Quality?

Thanks,


Zola K. Gordy, Retention Coordinator
Teaching/Learning Center
Penn Valley Community College
3200 Southwest Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 759-4004
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If you ask me what I came into this world
to do, I will tell you; I came to live out loud.
        - Emile Zola

>>> Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]> 9/13/2005 7:11 AM >>>
Sept. 13
Faculty Frets About Declining Student Quality
Community college faculty members are far likelier than those at four-year
institutions to believe that their students are underprepared for college
work. But professors at two-year institutions are more satisfied with their
jobs than are their peers at four-year colleges, according to a survey of
faculty attitudes by a research center at the University of California at
Los Angeles.
"The American College Teacher," a report on a survey conducted every three
years by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, offers a portrait of
the full-time professoriate (part-timers are not surveyed) on a range of
workplace and personal issues, including their views of their jobs, their
institutions and their students. The survey contains a wealth of data on
professors' duties, job satisfaction and sources of stress, among many other
factors.
One of the most closely analyzed nuggets of data - especially by
commentators outside academe - is on professors' political views. This
year's report suggests that commentators who complain about the leftward
lurch of the professoriate are not imagining it: 51.9 percent of the 40,670
professors surveyed described themselves as far left or liberal, while just
19.5 percent said they were conservative or far right.
This continues a steady shift, with the biggest change over time coming not
from a reduction in the number of conservative professors but (like the
national political landscape generally) from a shrinkage of the political
center: In 2004-5, only 29 percent of respondents described themselves as
middle of the road, down from about 40 percent in 1989-90. (It's also clear,
though, that overgeneralization can be dangerous. More than a quarter of
professors at two-year colleges and non-Roman Catholic religious
institutions defined themselves as conservative.)
Moving on to less sexy but perhaps more meaningful findings, the survey
asked for the first time whether professors were satisfied with the quality
of their students. Just under half of all instructors - 49.6 percent - said
they were. In addition, only 35.5 percent of all professors said they
believed that faculty members at their own institution felt that students
were well-prepared academically, although that number has actually increased
from 28 percent in 1998.
Fewer than two in five faculty members at two-year institutions said they
were satisfied with the quality of their students, compared to 75.1 percent
of professors at private universities, 51.7 percent at public universities,
and 55.9 percent at private four-year colleges. And only 21.5 percent of
community college professors said their students were well-prepared
academically, compared to nearly 45 percent at four-year private colleges
and 36.5 percent at public universities.
But two-year college instructors seemed, by and large, to like working at
institutions that embraced the mission of serving underprepared students.
More than four in five community college professors said they believed that
their institutions take "responsibility for educating underprepared
students" (compared to about three in five instructors at other colleges).
In addition, two-year-college instructors were more likely than those at
four-year colleges to say that their "values are congruent with the dominant
institutional values" where they worked, and 81.5 percent of them said they
were either very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs, compared to 76.8
percent of four-year college professors. They were also more likely than
four-year college professors (by a margin of 73 to 67 percent) to say they
experienced joy in their work "to a great extent."
In another measure of professors' job satisfaction, the survey asked
respondents: "If you were to begin your career again, would you still want
to be a college professor?" Two-year and four-year professors answered that
question similarly, as about 85 percent of each said definitely or probably
yes - but male instructors were more likely than their female counterparts
to definitely want to do it all again, by a margin of 57 percent to 52
percent.
That may be because women were likelier than men to say that they felt
stress in the last two years from a broad array of institutional and
personal factors, as shown in the following table:
Proportion of Male and Female Professors Citing Stress From Various Factors
Factor% of Men Citing as Cause of Stress% of Women Citing as Cause of
StressManaging household responsibilities68.0%81.8%Child
care29.429.6Review/promotion process40.350.8Subtle
discrimination17.934.2Teaching load61.670.8Lack of personal
time68.581.9Keeping up with technology54.064.2Being part of 2-career
couple31.041.6Self-imposed expectations75.084.4Among other highlights of the
UCLA survey:
* Given a list of items and asked which were "high" or "highest" priorities
at their institutions, professors' top answer was promoting the intellectual
development of students, at 83 percent. But while such things as developing
students' leadership and increasing the representation of women and minority
group members lagged, next on the list were enhancing the institution's
national image and increasing or sustaining its prestige.
* Three in five faculty members said they believed strongly or somewhat that
"tenure is essential to attract the best minds to academe. About a third
said it was an "outmoded concept."
* Nearly a quarter of instructors said college officials have the right to
ban people with extreme views from speaking on the campus.
* Thirty percent said colleges should be concerned with facilitating
undergraduates' spiritual development.
* Nine of 10 professors said they believed a racially and ethnically diverse
student body enhances the educational experience of all students; about a
quarter say that promoting diversity leads to the "admission of too many
underprepared students."
- Doug Lederman
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