Paper Example on Faculty Turnover

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University of Richmond
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1.0 Introduction and Background to the study

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In higher learning institutions, which are also known as the center of knowledge, retaining the knowledge worker frequently referred to as the faculty members or instructors has turned into a crucial problem. Higher education is meant for various stakeholders, that is, both the internal and external stakeholders. In this case, internal stakeholders are the students, the administrative staff and faculty members. The external stakeholders are the Ministry of Higher Education, the parents and educational suppliers. Getting to attract and retain the brightest students is the aim of every university official (Ehrenberg et al, 1991). Years ago, these stakeholders were mainly interested with the quality of programs and various factors such as school fees and where the higher educational institutions are located. Currently, the interest of the stakeholder is in the locality, facility and faculty. For more than three decades, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has been gathering data on the salaries and compensation of instructors for the American universities and colleges. The 21st economy is mainly knowledge-based. The economy currently is in need of a society which responds to generate competent and sufficient workforce to be able to meet the requirements of the changing world (Ehrenberg et al, 1991). To comply with this change, the institutions of higher learning demands for intellectual and knowledgeable human capital that will act to impart the necessary knowledge into the minds of the students. Various studies suggest that the higher education leaders face a lot of challenge in retaining its professors. The method used for both retention and firing the professional faculties is unclear and obscure in many institutions of higher learning (Harper 2012).

1.1 Study Rationale

Faculty turnover has a different meaning at each rank. At the level of the assistant professor, turnover means both the optional movement to other institutions or to non-academic institutions and obligatory mobility, that is, denial of tenure. At the level of the associate professor, faculty turnover is considered as primarily optional mobility. Lastly at the level of full professor, turnover means both the optional mobility to other work institutions and retirement choice (Johnson 2015). The salary level of a faculty member is one major factor among others that determines the probability of the employee's mobility. Mobility rates are higher among institutions of lesser quality, and also the mobility rates among faculty members are known to reduce with age factor.

1.2 Problem statement

High turnover rate in the universities in the United States has been a major issue. The plan of this paper is to investigate the best practices for retaining faculty. Quality faculty is an essential asset for an institution which offers higher education. Low retention of faculty is dangerous and might cause negative consequences in both academic and monetary situations. Monetary consequences are whereby the institution experiences a loss of returns on the investments made previously, for example, recruiting and replacement costs, and the time used by the other faculty during the process of hiring. According to American Management Association, the replacement cost of an employee is bigger and can be computed at 30% predictably, of an employee's salary for the whole year. Quality faculty moves from one school to the other in search for better facilities and above all better packages (Beard 2009). This paper analyses these problems and will suggest a clear methodology to retain quality faculty.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The institutes of higher learning are perceived as hubs for knowledge creation. For this reason, the higher learning institutions should be able to offer better opportunities for the learning process and individual growth than any other sector. The study is importance as it seeks to reduce the ever growing turnover rate among faculty members. The study will also analyze the previous measures employed to reduce the rate of turnover among faculty members and come up with recommendations concerning the same. Further, the findings from the study will give insights to the stakeholders on why the previous plans of actions are not effective. The findings may also enable the government through the Ministry of Higher Education to understand the reasons behind the high turnover rate which would enable them to formulate policies that would seek to fight the same. Lastly, the study is a valuable addition to the existing body of knowledge in the focus area.

1.4 Theoretical Framework

The employee motivation theories are given special attention by the management of today so as to satisfy its employees and be able to avoid frequent absenteeism, high turnover rates and to retain a highly qualified workforce. An employee's plan to leave an institution is not only dependent on the work factors but also of the factors out of work (Green et al, 2009). Johnson argued that the role of designing an environment which develops the employees lies on the managers and lack of creating such an environment will lead to more frustration for the employees which in turn will lead to reduced performance, reduced job satisfaction, and high turnover levels.

Employees who are motivated will highly contribute to the achievement of the institution's goals, and this is an essential concern for the institution (Keashy & Neuman 2010). An employees performance is determined by the degree of motivation coupled with other factors such as his ability and the environmental concerns. The faculty turnover varies depending on the subjects that are specifically prominent in higher education institutions. Faculty turnover can be either voluntary or involuntary. An example of voluntary turnover is when one decides to go for early retirement whereas an involuntary turnover is when one is dismissed from the institution. Both voluntary and involuntary turnover will have negative impacts on the students by causing discontinuity and disruption of teaching, student monitoring, and research. The institution will also face critical financial problems due to the new recruitment process. Other studies associate race, gender and marital status as an essential retention factor. According to the research study conducted by Harper to determine the impact of various faculty retention factors in the institutions of higher learning, the findings were that sociology, economics and psychology are primarily the foundations of all turnover behavior theories. He categorized the retention factors based on the individual, context and work factors and employees satisfaction as career satisfaction, salary satisfaction and satisfaction with the organization.

1.5 Objectives

The main aim of this research is to be able to come up with the best practices possible for retaining faculty at various institutions of higher learning. The research will also identify the reasons behind the rising numbers of faculty turnover and analyze the impacts of the turnover. Also, the research will determine the previous measures put in place to reduce the faculty turnover rate as this will help to come up with corrective measure and other new plans to solve the problem.

1.6 Research questions

The research attempts to seek solution to the following questions

What are the reasons behind high faculty turnover rate?

What are the impacts of high levels of faculty turnover on the stakeholders?

What were the previous plans meant to reduce faculty turnover and are the plans implemented or not?

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Reasons for high faculty turnover rates

Some employees experience stress because of work-life imbalance. The institutions demand a person to do the work which should be done by two or more people. This pressure comes alongside elevating economy. A person is then pushed to make a choice between work life and personal life. Another reason for a turnover is a case in which an individual feels that the job he or she does is not up to their expectations. A job may vary from the description given during interview and hence leads to mistrust by the employees (Beard 2009). Also the employees, in this case, the professors may feel undervalued by the management and they may decide to walk out to seek other institutions which would rather value and appreciate their work. People need recognition and rewards for well-done jobs. However, rewards should not only be perceived in monetary terms. Appreciating the employee and reinforcing a good job will highly motivate them and want them to continue working in the institution to meet the institution's goals. Another cause of turnover is whereby the employees do not have the opportunities to show and grow their talents. Successful organizations seek ways to come up with new skills and also help employees to develop their talents.

2.2 Impacts of faculty turnover

One of the negative impacts of faculty turnover is decreased performance. The students in colleges and universities have a hard time adjusting to new professors ways of teaching when they had already gotten used to the previous one (Keashy & Neuman 2010). Different professors have different methods of approaching a question because they trained at different institutions with different lectures. This confuses the minds of the students and hence their academic performance affected. Another negative effect of faculty turnover is the high cost. Each time a member leaves and gets replaced, there are costs involved within the events of losing the previous employee and hiring and imparting the required skills on the new employee. The rain marker group suggests that it can amount about one-half of an unskilled employee's salary to substitute a lost employee. Also, high turnover rates result to unfulfilled daily functions. In the case of higher learning institutions, the absence of a professor in class due to turnover will lead to unfinished syllabus by the end of the semester. Another impact is that the high turnover rate of employees results to low averaged years of experience among the employees. This signifies that the employees are usually less acquainted with the job tasks.

2.3 Measures to reduce faculty turnover

The following were the measure put in place in the previous years to deal with the problem of faculty turnover. The higher learning institutions were advised to clearly communicate their goals, responsibilities, and roles to the employees so that they may all be aware of what is expected of them. Clear communication also makes the employees feel included and part of the institutions (Green et al, 2009). Another measure was to provide the chance for employees to develop their careers. Also, the higher learning institutions were advised to provide cross training and career progression opportunities within the institutions. They also had plans to hold celebrations of the institution's traditions once in a year where all the stakeholders would meet and party and talk about their improvements as well as their failures and ways to work on the failures. The institutions decided to follow a written procedure for every employee to follow so that confusions would be avoided and to enhance the smooth running of the institution. The institutions also had plans to start recognizing hard working employees and rewarding them in various ways as well as celebrating success to keep the employees motivated. Also, the institutions decided to include the employees in making decisions that impact on their jobs and the whole organization where possible. This was meant to make them own the strategic framework. Another measure put in place was the demonstration of respect towards all employees despite their diversity....

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