Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Employment status and faculty satisfaction with academic freedom
by Mahamane, Dahamane, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2011, 207; 3490540
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate how employment status affects faculty‘s satisfaction with academic freedom in an Arizona public university. Academic freedom, defined as faculty and students‘ right to free inquiry, was formally instituted in American higher education by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in its 1915 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Tenure was meant to not provide faculty with job security but also to protect its academic freedom. However, the relevance of tenure has been the object of a long and controversial debate in higher education. On the one hand, some believe it is essential to the protection of academic freedom; on the other, there are those who believe it does not, and is only meant to eliminate competition in higher education faculty positions.

The primary instrument in this study was a survey whose purpose was to assess faculty‘s satisfaction with academic freedom and determine if there is a significant difference between tenured and non-tenured faculty on the variable of satisfaction with academic freedom. Additionally, a focus group was conducted to get a better understanding of the concepts of academic freedom and tenure from faculty perspectives.

Overall, faculty was found to be moderately satisfied with academic freedom, and no significant differences were found between tenured and non-tenured faculty on the variable of satisfaction with academic freedom after a one-way ANOVA was conducted to compare the means of the two groups.

The focus group helped determine how faculty defines academic freedom, its parameters, the threats it faces, and how academic freedom and tenure are related from faculty perspectives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wright, William F., Senese, Guy B.
Commitee: Dereshiwsky, Mary I., Markel, Sherry L., Wood, Gerald K.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Academic freedom, Employment status, Faculty
Publication Number: 3490540
ISBN: 978-1-267-11495-2
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