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Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
According to the Carnegie Foundation, faculty job satisfaction has declined drastically over the past few decades at institutions of higher education (Shuster and Finkelstein, 2006). Researchers have also found that faculty satisfaction is critical to the vitality of colleges and universities (Clark, Corcoran, and Lewis, 1986; Farrell, 1983). Senior faculty members, defined here as those who have tenure, can significantly impact institutional vitality because they make up 50 percent of the professoriate (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). In addition, a recent study suggests that one disengaged senior faculty member can significantly damage an entire academic unit at a college or university (Huston, Norman, and Ambrose, 2007). Due to the potential for such negative effects, researchers have asked the following question: What factors affect senior faculty retention and attrition at institutions of higher education? The author begins this chapter by analyzing the most common factors presented in the literature. He then argues that institutions must consider the particular needs of their senior faculty members and be willing to make change(s) to retain them. In addition, he finds that further research can better inform institutions as they diagnose and attend to their senior faculty.