Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

James O. Hammons

Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Daniel B. Kissinger

Keywords

Education; Community college faculty; Faculty promotions; Faculty rank

Abstract

The growth of community colleges over the last five decades has not been met with a commensurate expansion of knowledge about policy development. In order to address this gap in knowledge, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of rank among two-year colleges in the United States; to identify the criteria used to determine rank upon hire for transfer and vocational faculty; to identify the criteria used to determine promotion for transfer and vocational faculty; and to determine if there are differences in criteria between transfer faculty and vocational faculty at initial appointment and subsequent promotion. Additionally, the study sought to determine the prevalence of collective bargaining and tenure among colleges with faculty rank and the currency of the policies about faculty promotion.

To collect the needed information for the study, an email requesting policies on faculty rank and promotion was sent to chief academic officers of all public two-year colleges identified as having a system of faculty rank. Additionally, questions about collective bargaining, faculty tenure, and currency of promotion policies were asked. One hundred thirty four replies (38%) were received.

Results indicated that 38% of public two-year colleges currently offer faculty rank. Furthermore, 47% of colleges had collective bargaining, 67% of colleges had faculty tenure, and 79.7% of colleges had updated their rank and promotion policies within the last five years. The most common criteria used to determine rank at the time of hire and subsequent promotion were educational credentials and teaching excellence. There were differences between transfer and vocational faculty in the criteria used to determine academic rank.

This study provides a better understanding of the prevalence of faculty rank among two-year colleges and the criteria used to determine initial rank at the time of hire and for subsequent promotion for both transfer and vocational faculty.

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