Faculty survey lists priorities

Improved salaries, support for research and increases in student financial aid top the priorities listed in a recent survey of faculty at the College of William and Mary. In addition, 81 percent of faculty who responded to the survey stated they were satisfied with their current position at William and Mary.

About 73 percent of faculty at the College responded to the 2006 survey, which was presented in February to the William and Mary Board of Visitors. That’s up from a 62-percent response rate in the last survey in 2003, Katherine Kulick, associate professor of modern languages and literature, told members of the Board.

In terms of job satisfaction, 41 percent of respondents said they were “very satisfied” and 40 percent stated they were “moderately satisfied” with their position at the College. That 81-percent total is up slightly from the 2003 survey’s total of 78 percent, Kulick said.

However, 62 percent of respondents said they had “considered leaving” in the past two years, which was actually down from 69 percent in the 2003 survey, Kulick said. In addition, 24 percent of respondents said they actually applied for another job, a decrease from 29 percent in 2003. Similar to the previous surveys, the most frequent reasons given for considering leaving include better salaries and better facilities, as well as other considerations such as a job opportunity for a spouse.

Among the other results, the majority of faculty who responded (53 percent) stated they were satisfied with the current balance between teaching and research. William and Mary faculty also report they spend more time on teaching than research, though faculty (73 percent) in general would like more time to devote to research.

Respondents also agreed that faculty governance is important. According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents believe faculty governance is either a very important or important part of the William and Mary tradition and culture. Seventy-nine percent said they believed their current level in faculty governance was appropriate for their rank.

The faculty survey is written and administered by members of the Faculty Assembly every three years, said Kulick. The 198-page survey report is now available on the Faculty Assembly Web site at http://www.wm.edu/facultyassembly/cmssite/FacultySurvey2007.pdf.

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