A comparison of Washington State community college faculty and administrators' opinions and beliefs on academic freedom and tenure
Grubiak, Michael J. (Michael John)
MetadataShow full item record
What people believe often guides their actions. Within higher education, beliefs about academic freedom and tenure may guide some of the behaviors of both administrators and faculty members. Role theory suggests that faculty members and administrators, because of their different roles within the institution, may have differing opinions, attitudes, and expectancies.This study surveyed the attitudes and opinions about academic freedom and tenure of a sample of administrators and faculty in community colleges in Washington State. A self-administered mailed questionnaire was used. Results are described and comparisons are made between the responses of the two groups and between subsets of each group. Interaction effects of race/ethnicity and gender were analyzed. Differences between minorities and whites were examined as well as differences between females and males. Effects of current experience, total experience, age, and level of education were measured.A factor analysis identified nine factors related to academic freedom and tenure: Importance and Impact, Understandability, Professional Autonomy, Classroom Autonomy, Dismissal for Wrongful Behavior, General Freedom of Speech, Dismissal for Cause, Student Rights, and Academic Speech.The major research finding for this study suggests that the set of administrators with and without previous faculty experience disagree with the set of faculty members with and without previous administrator experience on factors related to the importance and impact of academic freedom, professional autonomy, and classroom autonomy. This disagreement is similarly evident between administrators without previous faculty experience when compared with faculty without previous administrator experience.Faculty members believe academic freedom and tenure are important principles while administrators do not believe they are. Faculty members believe they have rights that prevent administration from controlling curriculum, grades, and off-campus teaching and consultation activities while administrators do not believe faculty members have these rights. Faculty members believe they have rights that prevent administration from controlling teaching methods and grading polices while administrators do not believe faculty members have these rights.No interaction effects for race/ethnicity or gender were found. Differences were noted between minorities and whites and between females and males. Current experience, total experience, age, and level of education may influence some responses.
- Education - Seattle