Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Meredith Redlin


Faculty retention and turnover intent, Gender composition, Institutional work environment


Retaining high-quality and competent faculty members requires academic institutions authorities to understand the institutional factors that determine faculty retention and turnover intent to help implement sound policies and practices to maintain these faculty members in academia. This research examined the institutional work dimensions related to faculty job satisfaction and intention to leave or stay, particularly in state system institutions. Survey data were garnered as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE PLAN-IHE grant project and were administered through various institutions' representatives of the NSF ADVANCE PLAN-IHE grant program and were commissioned to work with their provosts to distribute the survey to faculty members. The study focused on all faculty members (including full faculty, associate faculty, assistant faculty, lecturers, and instructors) across six institutions in one higher education system in the Midwest. The study adopts an integrative approach based on the expectancy and gender equity (integrated gender lens) theoretical framework and demographic variables to examine the impact of institutional work dimensions on faculty job satisfaction and intention to leave or stay. Binary logistic regression and Pearson correlation were used to identify and model the relationships between predictor variables and the faculty intention to leave. The models were used to illustrate the positive and negative association and the direct and indirect effects of the faculty demographic characteristics, workload and work-life balance, faculty performance and productivity, and institutional commitment and support variables on the faculty turnover intent. The study found that the top strongest predictors of faculty intention to leave were faculty workload and work-life balance variables. Institutional budget cuts, Discrimination (Prejudice, racism, and sexism), teaching load, pressure to deliver more in terms of teaching were significant and positively related to the intention to leave, indicating a high faculty intention to leave. Faculty advancement and promotion variables also had the most substantial adverse effect on the intention to leave. Criteria for promotion decision are clear, someone encourages my development, adequate support for faculty development, were also significant and negatively associated with the intention to leave, suggesting fewer faculty members' intention to leave. Resource variables were not too strong in predicting faculty intention to leave. The models proposed in this study indicate that model one (Intention to leave) was more effective in modeling the relationship between the institutional factors and faculty intention to leave than model two (Applied to other jobs). Although this study is limited by the availability of actual faculty turnover data, it invariably provides insights into faculty turnover rates and factors that influence faculty intentions to leave or stay. The study also offers academic institutions the understanding of the work environment's impact and other associated determinants on the faculty members' work-life balance, productivity and performance, and the institution’s reputation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

State universities and colleges -- Faculty -- Job satisfaction.
Public universities and colleges -- Faculty -- Job satisfaction.
Employee retention.
Teacher turnover.
Work environment.
Women college teachers -- Employment.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright