Disciplinary, institutional, and individual factors influencing faculty teaching and research productivity
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The problem to be addressed by this study consists of interrelated questions: (1) How can faculty productivity of research and instruction be measured? (2) What individual and institutional attributes influence the faculty productivity? (3) What is the relative contribution of individual, disciplinary, and institutional variables to the faculty productivity? (4) What is the disciplinary classification to account for the difference in the faculty productivity? To investigate the first research question, exploratory factor analysis to create factor scores regarding faculty productivity of research and teaching was employed. To explore the second and third research questions, HLM analysis was employed. The HLM analysis used the two factor scores of publication and student-centered teaching as the dependent variables and additional variables as explanatory variables. Finally, a cluster analysis to classify twenty disciplinary fields was employed to answer the last question. The data from the 2004 National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty were used for this study. This study used two sets of variables regarding faculty outcomes of teaching and research. The first set of outcome variables focused on research, and consisted of seven question items on recent publication activity of an individual faculty member. The second outcome variables focused on teaching, and consisted of ten items on teaching and evaluation methods that an individual faculty member has used for an undergraduate class. HLM analyses suggested that faculty outcomes of publication and teaching were simultaneously affected by institutional type, disciplinary fields, and employment conditions. As HLM analyses indicated that there were significant differences in faculty work among most of the disciplinary fields, the twenty disciplinary fields were classified into a small number of groups based on the two factor scores of publication and teaching that varied significantly across disciplinary fields. Four clusters were selected by using K-mean cluster analysis. The clustering result illustrates similarity and dissimilarity of faculty work across disciplinary fields. As the clustering analysis is based on measures of faculty research and teaching behaviors, it provides a new clustering result different from Biglan’s (1973a) classification and Becker’s (1994) disciplinary grouping that were based on faculty perception survey.