Posts Tagged ‘job satisfaction’

Stuck in the Middle

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Associate professors register more job dissatisfaction than faculty of other ranks according to a national survey conducted by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education.

In several categories, associate professors feel less valued and less supported. Their dissatisfaction may reflect a concentration of resources for early career faculty and the let-down of having achieved a major promotion only to face the next hurdle.

Focus groups with midcareer faculty in the Department of Medicine revealed similar feelings of frustration. At the same time, their professional needs differ from the needs of assistant professors. Faculty development specifically tailored to associate professors would help them see the path to full.

The Happy Doctor

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I was reading a review of a new book called The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law and couldn’t help but draw parallels to academic medicine.

In the book, the authors–law professors at the University of Missouri–cite statistics of how unhappy lawyers are. More than one-third of new associates in law firms leave within three years. Half of all lawyers would discourage their children from taking up the profession. It seems that the same demands for increased productivity that pervades medicine have made the legal field less satisfying.

Their recommendations to reinvigorate lawyering could just as easily apply to medical schools. They tell aspiring attorneys to choose a law school with students and faculty they relate to. Graduates of the top-tier law schools tend to be less pleased with their career choice than graduates of the fourth-tier schools. It’s not prestige that matters.

They also advise finding a cause to motivate you, even if it’s in a dull area of the law. Finally, they say to leave work at work and feel more comfortable with your family.

Job Satisfaction

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education has released results from a survey of tenure-track faculty at research universities. What’s novel about these findings is that they document significant differences in job satisfaction between male and female professors. In particular, women in social science disciplines reported significantly greater job satisfaction than their male counterparts.

Inside Higher Ed breaks down the categories in which female academics felt less satisfied. Some of these relate to the tenure process, but many others are relevant to an institution like BUMC: teaching obligations, family-friendly policies, funding expectations. That women in the social sciences, departments that tend to have a more even gender distribution, felt less satisfied indicates that achieving parity in hiring is only a start.

In fact, I wonder if the higher concentration of women in those departments makes it easier to share information and become aware of inequities. This points to the need to keep faculty development programs in mind for mid-career professors as well as new hires.