Continuing to grow: The impact of faculty development programs on university professors' lives and satisfaction

Carl Johan Fredrik Palm, Fordham University


Institutional vitality has long been linked to the health and prosperity of its faculty. The central question for this research is: To what degree does participating in the Faculty Resource Network program affect faculty members' self-reporting of satisfaction, efficacy, and longevity in the academic career. This quantitative study builds on earlier research on faculty careers, and provides further examination into the particular impact of a national faculty development program, the Faculty Resource Network (FRN) on the satisfaction, efficacy, and longevity of faculty members. ^ The findings of this study suggest that participation in the Faculty Resource Network program has an impact on the lives of faculty members, although the variance by treatment group was not significant. The study revealed insight into the lives of faculty members and how faculty development programs impact the academic career. Of the important findings of the study, the discovery of the importance of connectivity to an academic community in overall satisfaction was critical. The importance of an academic community for faculty was significantly impacted by participation in FRN program. Faculty who are given the opportunity to build relationships with other faculty members at other institutions are more satisfied with their careers than those who are not connected to a national network. ^ The study also revealed a strong correlation through regression models between the six intervening variables (connectivity, teaching ability, ability as a researcher, reputation as a researcher, professional growth, and access to scholarly resources) and the three dependent variables (satisfaction, efficacy, and longevity). Recommendations for practitioners identified through this study include, increased opportunities for faculty networking; fold pedagogical techniques and strategies into disciplinary workshops and conferences; avoiding gender, racial, and disciplinary bias in the faculty development plan; conducting continuous self assessments of the faculty development program; and developing career stage appropriate faculty development programs. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Palm, Carl Johan Fredrik, "Continuing to grow: The impact of faculty development programs on university professors' lives and satisfaction" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3262836.