UMKC – Leaders retreatClimate mattersAugust 7, 2013 Dr. Cathy a. trower
Part I What is climate and why does it matter?
Culture Culture is “a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein 1992, p. 12). • Artifacts • Espoused values • Underlying assumptions Faculty experience four similar but distinct cultures: • Academic • Institutional • Disciplinary • Departmental “The way we do things around here” Schein, E.H. (1992). Organizational Policy and Leadership (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Climate is a… • “surface manifestation of culture” (Schein 1990, p. 109). • “ubiquitous cultural force that can make a group member experience an array of feelings from welcomed, included, and respected to tense, excluded, and singled out” (Trower 2012, pp. 123-4). Schein, E.H. (1990). “Organizational culture,” American Psychologist 45(2): 109-19. Trower, C. (2012). Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Index card exercise • Blue: Humanities • Green: Natural Sciences (STEM, including School of Biological Sciences, Computing & Engineering) • Yellow: Social Sciences • Pink: Professional (business, law, conservatory, dentistry, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy) • Lined side – What single adjective comes first to mind when you think of the climate in your department? • Unlined side – What would you like that adjective to be? [NOTE: You could have the same answer to both questions.]
Why culture matters • Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. Thinking we can attract and retain students, and see them through to completion, without addressing faculty issues is foolhardy. • When faculty feel misaligned with the culture they: • Have higher levels of job-related stress • Have less overall satisfaction • Spend less time teaching • Produce less scholarship • When faculty feel a sense of “fit” they: • Stay longer at their job • Are more satisfied with their position • Are more committed to the institution
climate at departmental level Climate • is particularly pronounced in the department, where faculty spend most of their time • can influence decisions a new faculty member makes about taking advantage of certain “sensitive” institutional policies and practices (e.g., family leave, stop-the-clock) • can be a positive force and motivate high performance • can turn negative when faculty disagree on departmental goals and priorities or when factions pit faculty against one another • is most shaped by the chair and senior faculty
Numerous Studies: Similar Messages • Women found their departmental climate to be: • Less collegial/more contentious • Less cooperative/more competitive • Less conciliatory/more aggressive • Seeking individual advantage over collective good • Less cohesive/more fragmented • Women feel: • Less integrated/more isolated • Less comfortable sharing their views in meetings • Reluctant to raise concerns for fear of retribution • Less valued Cornell University Faculty Work Life Survey http://www.ipr.cornell.edu/documents/1000369.pdf
Numerous Studies:Similar Messages • Men’s and women’s job satisfaction is influenced by institutional leadership and mentoring, but only as mediated by the two key academic processes: • internal relational supports from a collegial and inclusive immediate work environment • access to internal academic resources (including research-supportive workloads) • Women’s job satisfaction derived more from internal relational supports [being valued, trust, feedback, opinion sought, welcomed and included] than academic resources • Men’s job satisfaction resulted equally from internal relational supports and academic resources received Bilimoria, D., S.R. Perry, X. Liang, E.P. Stoller, P. Higgins, C. Taylor (2006). “How do female and male faculty construct job satisfaction?” Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 355-365.
Numerous Studies:Similar Messages • Departmental climate is important to men and women faculty members, but may have an even greater impact on job satisfaction and intentions to stay/leave for women faculty. • Women faculty are not inherently dissatisfied with their jobs; rather…they value departmental climate [more]… When they experience negative climates they are more likely to experience lower job satisfaction and consider going elsewhere. • Women more likely to: • Value connections with others in the workplace • Be more aware of and place more value on the quality of interactions Callister, Ronda Roberts (2006). “The impact of gender and department climate on job satisfaction and intentions to quit for faculty in science and engineering fields,” Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 367-375.
Primary Components of departmental climate • A sense of intellectual community and engagement • about research, teaching, and service/shared governance • Full, fair, and transparent evaluation • Effective, supportive, and ongoing communication and mentoring • Effective formal (written) policies and informal (often unspoken) practices • Support for work-life integration
why Intellectual community & engagement matters • Maintains and protects academic traditions and advancement of knowledge • Encourages a willingness to share with colleagues and students without concern for competitive advantage • Expands the academic dialogue and reveals possibilities for scholarship and enhanced teaching • Opens opportunities for collaboration http://www.advance.vt.edu/Climate.html
Why full, fair, and transparent evaluation matters • Assures improvement of the academic planning process and the performance of faculty members and research teams. • Provides a basis for salary adjustments, retention, and promotion and tenure decisions. • A large percentage of junior faculty say performance evaluation is important to their career progress.
Why effective and supportive communication matters • Critical in retaining and promoting faculty. • Fosters the generation of knowledge by introducing new ideas for research, teaching, outreach and service. • Supportive conversations strengthen bonds between faculty and administrators and remind faculty of their importance to the institution. • Importance of mentoring as a vehicle for communication; mentored junior faculty tend to have higher job satisfaction.
Why effective policies matter • Guides a shared sense of purpose among department members. • Well documented policies and decisions ensure and illustrate equity and fairness in the treatment of all faculty. • Transparency through written policies is especially valued by women and faculty of color.
Why work/life integration matters • The ability to balance work and personal life has a strong affect on faculty job satisfaction throughout an academic career. • The ability of an institution to attract and retain the best faculty depends on a culture that values and supports work/life integration.
Part II What do coache data tell us?
The Academic Culture Everyone is “so busy.” Autonomy vs. isolation Departmental politics and personal agendas Weak support systems Asking questions raises red flags
Collegiality • Collegiality can be analyzed through three forms within higher education: • collegial culture (local expectations of supportiveness), • collegial structure (access to grievance and governance systems, among others), and • collegial behavior (actions that reflect prosocial and trusting values and that exceed typical workplace norms). Bess, J.L. (1988). Collegiality and bureaucracy in the modern university: The influence of information and power on decision-making structures. New York: Teachers College Press.
Department Collegiality correlation coefficients by gender COACHE Data: ~11,000 Full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty Public research universities; 2011-12 and 2012-13 cohorts
discussion For Gender, Race and Rank • What are the main points? • What confirmed what you thought? • What most surprises you? • What are some implications for practice?
Part III Life in an academic department and best practices
Socialization • “A process over time that enables a new faculty member to understand the norms, attitudes, and beliefs of a group” (Trower 2012, p. 125). • For newcomers, socialization facilitates an understanding of departmental expectations and customary behavior within the department. • Begins to occur in graduate school, but mostly socialized to research, not teaching or service.
Socialization: the process by which newcomers transition from being outsiders to being insiders. Newcomers must learn to adapt through uncertainty reduction. Bauer, T.N. and Green, S.G. (1994). “Effect of newcomer involvement in work-related activities: A longitudinal study of socialization,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 79(2): 211-223. Role clarity Self-efficacy Socialacceptance Job satisfaction Intention to remain Job performance Turnover Institutional commitment
Importance of leadership • “The chair’s job is to make sure that his or her faculty are as productive as possible. Productive faculty are satisfied faculty.” (Trower, 2005) • Sound leadership is the key to effective and successful socialization. • Leaders must be intentional in their efforts to understand and improve the experience of newcomers. • The department chair plays the most pivotal role in setting the tone and determining departmental climate. Trower, C. (2005). “Gen x meets theory y,” The Department Chair, 16(2), Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company.
The chair • Climate is the chair’s responsibility • Is a model of expectations • Serves the faculty and students • Should work transparently • Should be: • Objective • Respectful • Humble • Open • Positive/upbeat • Must be: • Credible/trustworthy • Knowledgeable
ADVANCE @ Northeastern From: Graham's Corner/Chair's Corner -- August 2013-volume 4, issue 12 As I reread chapter 1 of “Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women”, I was reminded it is my responsibility to show value for everyone's comments in a meeting and ensure everyone has equal "voice" whether a small group meeting or a larger departmental meeting. I can do this by making a follow up comment, by asking for comments from those who have not yet contributed, and/or giving credit for ideas to those who originally gave them (not necessarily the one who reiterated them later in the conversation). I have this responsibility as chair, but each member of the faculty also shares this responsibility in every group meeting. Rereading social science research seems to increase my understanding over time. Graham Jones, Chair and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, ADVANCE Co-PI Valian, Virginia. Why So Slow?: The Advancement of Women. The MIT Press, 1999
Effective practices • Tenure process clarity • Make sure your department has clearly documented criteria. • Provide sample dossiers of successful tenure bids. • Provide clear, written policy for tenuring joint appointments. • Establish three- and five-year work plans with each faculty member. • Provide clear annual evaluations of pre-tenure faculty that include strengths and weaknesses. • Ensure that the midterm review is on target, clear, and is provided in writing.
Effective practices • Time management • Tell faculty when they should hold off on developing new courses to focus on research. • Talk to new faculty about which committees are worthwhile; give them permission to “blame the chair” when declining. • Allow new hires a year off before they start to teach. • Tread lightly with new faculty around their first sets of teaching evaluations. • Schedule department meetings for Fridays at noon (and provide lunch), rather than early mornings or evenings.
effective practices • Initiate formal or informal mentoring and opportunities to form networks and collaborations for tenure-track faculty. • Ensure that senior faculty mentor junior faculty in positive fashion. Do not allow bullying. • Have faculty develop mentoring mosaics where they take an active role in deciding where they need help and who can best provide it. • Invite a tenured faculty member from outside the institution, but from the same field as a pre-tenure faculty member, to campus. • Encourage junior faculty to attend conferences.
effective practices • Stress the importance of community and provide a culture of support. • Keep an open door. • Lunch with junior faculty monthly; meet each individually once per semester. • Signal the acceptability of requesting resources or asking questions. • Hold sponsored social events. • Invite guests and visiting scholars. • Encourage collaborative course teaching, joint grants (Co- PI), joint publications. • Provide faculty professional development opportunities. • Raise a small amount of money to fund projects important to junior faculty. • Develop a chair to succeed you; foster other leadership.
Effective practices • Work-family support • Do not schedule meetings during times when faculty parents may need to drop off or pick up children. • Be aware of all campus policies and procedures. • Strive to foster a supportive departmental climate for the work-life needs of all. • Beware of supporting faculty parents at the expense of burdening child-free faculty. • Be mindful of caregiving relationships other than that of parent-child. • Encourage conversations between faculty about the challenges of dual careers, child care, elder care, and juggling demands. • Implement policies equitably, fairly, and consistently.
Effective practices • Teaching expectations • Hold discussions with all department faculty about how teaching assignments are made and ensure that assignments are transparent and equitable. • Share syllabi and course notes on core courses with new faculty. • Pair senior with junior faculty to team-teach a course during the first year on campus. • Review exams for appropriate level of difficulty. • Offer to observe junior faculty who would like you to do so in order to provide feedback.
Effective practices • Research expectations • Encourage new faculty to apply for awards, requests for proposals, and other grant opportunities that come to your attention. • Offer to lend equipment and supplies. • Read manuscripts and research proposals; provide constructive criticism. • Petition publishers and academic presses on behalf of pre-tenure faculty. • Sponsor substantive brown-bag sessions on such topics as writing an effective grant proposal, supervising graduate students, and managing a lab.
Part iv discussion
Table talks • About what are you most optimistic? • About what are you most concerned? • What are two things you plan to do? • What could stop you? hurdles? Resistance • What might propel action? Enablers?