Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 12, 1993.


This article reports on a study of issues of faculty isolation and morale in mid-career faculty. Interview questions probed the dynamics of individual careers and asked about the quality of work life in the department and university, and changes in work life over the course of careers. Findings suggest that a majority of faculty, regardless of professional interests or scholarly prestige, would like greater interaction with departmental colleagues, more recognition from their department and university, a reward system based less on outside offers, and more fluid communications with upper-level administrators. Faculty comments clearly illustrate the advantages of an academic career: the autonomy and freedom to pursue one's own interests and set one's own priorities; the ability to have several "careers" in the course of a single faculty career. Findings suggest that faculty needs vary substantially with career stage and that effective faculty development programs will be responsive to this variation.