Non-tenure-track faculty job satisfaction and organizational sense of belonging
Hudson, Barbara Krall
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Non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty members are playing an increasingly larger role in the instruction of students in higher education. They provide a flexible workforce with specialized expertise, often prefer to work part-time and frequently teach large introductory courses. Concerns about their treatment and the environment in which they work are often investigated because their attitudes about their jobs and the workplace can have an impact on their students and institution as a whole. This study seeks to further investigate the psychological health of this diverse group of faculty and more specifically studies the job satisfaction (JS) and organizational sense of belonging (OSB) of NTT instructional faculty at a public research intensive university. The study used survey methods to determine the distribution of different NTT faculty types at the institution, obtain demographic information about their employment and determine their level of JS and OSB. An electronic survey was sent to 397 identified NTT faculty and 194 responded to a 77 item survey. The respondents self-selected themselves into one of four previously determined NTT faculty categories. A variety of methods were used to analyze the data including descriptive statistics, ANOVAs and multiple linear regression analyses. Results indicate that this institution has three different types of NTT faculty and that their JS and OSB vary. One of the groups has significantly more job satisfaction but lower sense of belonging scores than the other two groups. The other two groups have significantly less job satisfaction but have a greater sense of belonging to their department and university. These results support previous findings that NTT faculty members are a complex group of faculty who have different motivations and expectations for teaching. This diverse group of faculty should not be treated uniformly and distinct group variations should be considered when initiating recommendations for improving their professionalism.