Job satisfaction among university faculty: Individual, work, and institutional determinants


University professors differ in so many ways from other workers, including other highly educated professional workers, but do they differ in the factors determining their job satisfaction? A valid answer to this question is of more than passing interest. Armed with knowledge of the determinants of university professors’ job satisfaction, university administrators can devise more effective strategies for recruitment and retention (Johnsrud & Heck, 1994; Seifert & Umbach, 2008; Smart, 1990; Weiler, 1985). Perhaps even more important, knowledge of faculty job satisfaction may assist public policy-makers charged with formulating national policies for the “pipeline” and the continued health of scientific and education establishments (Boyer, 1990). Furthermore, as industrial research careers become more attractive, knowledge of university professors’ job satisfaction determinants can prove valuable in efforts to combat the higher pay incentives generally provided in industry (Zumeta & Raveling, 2001). Related, since the early 1980s, U.S. federal government and state governments have designed public policies aimed at promoting collaboration between university faculty and industry. Although these policies seem to have had the direct effect of encouraging such collaboration, they have refashioned universities and have perhaps affected faculty job satisfaction (Ponomariov & Boardman, 2008). If faculty members engaged in industry collaboration are more satisfied, then it augurs well for continued or expanded university-industry collaboration. In short, the degree and predictors of university faculty members’ job satisfaction often have import beyond the immediate well-being and self-interest of the professoriate.

Full Paper

Bozeman, B. & Gaughan, M. (2011). Job satisfaction among university faculty: Individual, work, and institutional determinants. The Journal of Higher Education, 82 (2), 154-186.