The Faculty Workload and Rewards Project

Research on Workload and Rewards

Click reference to see abstract.

Baez, B. (2000). Race-related service and faculty of color: Conceptualizing critical agency in academe. Higher Education, 39(3), 363-391.

Based on a qualitative study of sixteen faculty of color at a private research university, this article argues that service, though significantly presenting obstacles to the promotion and retention of faculty of color, actually may set the stage fora critical agency that resists and redefines academic structures that hinder faculty success. The construct of `service,' therefore, presents the opportunity for theorizing the interplay of human agency and social structures. The article suggests that faculty may seek to redefine oppressive structures through service, thus, exercising an agency that emerges from the very structures that constrain it. Faculty of color, in particular, may engage in service to promote the success of racial minorities in the academy and elsewhere. Thus, service, especially that which seeks to further social justice, contributes to the redefinition of the academy and society at large.

Babcock, L., Recalde, M. P., Vesterlund, L., & Weingart, L. (2017). Gender differences in accepting and receiving requests for tasks with low promotability. The American Economic Review, 107(3), 714-747.

Gender differences in task allocations may sustain vertical gender segregation in labor markets. We examine the allocation of a task that everyone prefers be completed by someone else (writing a report, serving on a committee, etc.) and find evidence that women, more than men, volunteer, are asked to volunteer, and accept requests to volunteer for such tasks. Beliefs that women, more than men, say yes to tasks with low promotability appear as an important driver of these differences. If women hold tasks that are less promotable than those held by men, then women will progress more slowly in organizations.

Beddoes, K., Schimpf, C., & Pawley, A. L. (2014, June). New metaphors for new understandings: Ontological questions about developing grounded theories in engineering education. Presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Engineering education scholars have demonstrated an interest in broadening the scope of the field in multiple ways, including issues addressed and approaches employed. These scholars have argued the need to broaden the epistemological and methodological boundaries of the field. However, numerous challenges to such expansion exist, and they must be better understood if the potential of broadening the field’s boundaries is to be fulfilled. To that end, this paper has three aims: 1) to demonstrate how new metaphors can contribute to grounded theory development, 2) to explain the significance of such approaches, and 3) to identify challenges of introducing grounded theories and new metaphors in engineering education research. The paper begins with a discussion of the methodological justification for developing grounded theories via new metaphors. An overview of one of our prior studies that attempted to develop a new metaphor- based grounded theory is then presented. Based on our experiences with that project, as well as other prior work, the challenges encountered in this type of work are then discussed. The discussion also raises larger questions about the nature of theory in engineering education research.

Bird, Sharon R., Jacquelyn Litt, and Yong Wang. 2004. Creating a Status of Women Report: Institutional Housekeeping as Women’s Work. National Women’s Studies Association Journal, 16 (1):194- 206.

Growing awareness of the underrepresentation of women in male-dominated fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), has inspired universities across the United States to examine more carefully their strategies for recruiting, retaining, and promoting women students and faculty. To do so has required assembling personnel to organize and execute data collection, analyses, and interpretation. Not surprisingly, women faculty are the primary participants in this type of work. We examine the process of creating a status of women report at Iowa State University, including what this process means for institutional responsibility for gender issues and for the careers of women who produce such reports. We also recommend ways to address the problems associated with women's unrecognized service work. We refer to such work as "institutional housekeeping" because it involves the invisible and supportive work of women to improve women's status within the institution.

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

We find that faculty members are more satisfied with their jobs when they perceive that their colleagues respect their research work and they are paid what they are worth. Women tend to be less satisfied, and the tenured are more satisfied. Industry and university research center affiliations do not predict job satisfaction.

Carrigan, C., Quinn, K., & Riskin, E.A. (2011). The gendered division of labor among STEM faculty and the effects of the critical mass. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 4(3), 131-146.

This study explored whether there is a gendered division of labor for faculty in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at research universities and examined the connections between time allocation and satisfaction for STEM faculty within the context of a critical mass of women in the discipline. Using a weighted sample of 13,884 faculty from the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF:04), we found a gendered division of labor that is mitigated by a critical mass of women faculty in the discipline. Results lend empirical support to theories that argue critical-mass attainment positively impacts equity in resource distribution and time allocation.

Curcio, A. A., & Lynch, M. A. (2017). Addressing Social Loafing on Faculty Committees. Journal of Legal Education. 6(1), 242-262.

Scholarly productivity reaps tangible internal and external rewards, while the "reward" for excellent faculty committee work performance often is additional committee work. Some faculty members perform substantial institution-sustaining committee work while others are institutional service work “social loafers”. This essay suggests this traditional workload distribution model may be unsustainable. Innovations in legal education are resulting in increased committee work while reductions in full-time faculty at many schools leave fewer faculty members available to do that work. Those currently doing the lion's share of the work may be unable, or unwilling, to take on additional committee work responsibilities. This article examines methods for avoiding an institutional governance crisis. Grounding the discussion in social science literature, it explores ways to engage more faculty members in committee work by creating accountability structures via smaller committees and evaluation of committee work contributions. It posits that evaluating committee work sets normative standards, potentially changing cultural expectations about institutional committee work participation. The appendix contains a sample committee work contribution evaluative rubric. The article also discusses an equitable solution to disparate committee workloads – providing those who consistently take on significant committee work responsibilities with a temporary release from committee work. This kind of workload release could help level the playing field and allow those who carry heavy committee workloads the opportunity to engage more fully in their scholarship. Throughout, the article discusses the implications of failing to address committee workload inequities and proposes ways to engage more faculty in the work necessary to maintain thriving self-governing educational institutions in today's changing legal environment.

Eagan Jr, M. K., & Garvey, J. C. (2015). Stressing Out: Connecting Race, Gender, and Stress with Faculty Productivity. The Journal of Higher Education, 86(6), 923-954.

This study examined the connections among race, gender, sources of stress, and productivity in the areas of research, teaching, and service for 21,840 full-time, undergraduate faculty across 411 four-year institutions. Data was obtained from the Higher Education Research Institute’s (HERI) 2010–2011 Faculty Survey. Multilevel modeling revealed that stress due to discrimination had a negative impact on research productivity for faculty of color. Stress due to family obligations however, was found to significantly and positively impact faculty’s adoption of student-centered teaching practices and participation in civic-minded activities. When other variables in the model were controlled for, female faculty tended to incorporate student-centered practices into their teaching with significantly greater regularity than their male counterparts—nearly a quarter of a standard deviation higher. The authors conclude that as faculty experienced greater stress due to changes in work responsibilities and family obligations, they seemed to rise to the challenge with regard to their use of evidence-based teaching practices in their classrooms.

El-Alayli, A., Hansen-Brown, A. A., & Ceynar, M. (2018). Dancing backwards in high heels: Female professors experience more work demands and special favor requests, particularly from academically entitled students. Sex Roles, 1-15.

Although the number of U.S. female professors has risen steadily in recent years, female professors are still subject to different student expectations and treatment. Students continue to perceive and expect female professors to be more nurturing than male professors are. We examined whether students may consequently request more special favors from female professors. In a survey of professors (n = 88) across the United States, Study 1 found that female (versus male) professors reported getting more requests for standard work demands, special favors, and friendship behaviors, with the latter two mediating the professor gender effect on professors’ self-reported emotional labor. Study 2 utilized an experimental design using a fictitious female or male professor, with college student participants (n = 121) responding to a scenario in which a special favor request might be made of the professor. The results indicated that academically entitled students (i.e., those who feel deserving of success in college regardless of effort/performance) had stronger expectations that a female (versus male) professor would grant their special favor requests. Those expectations consequently increased students’ likelihood of making the requests and of exhibiting negative emotional and behavioral reactions to having those requests denied. This work highlights the extra burdens felt by female professors. We discuss possible moderators of these effects as well as the importance of developing strategies for preventing them.

Guarino, C. M., & Borden, V. M. (2017). Faculty service loads and gender: Are women taking care of the academic family? Research in Higher Education, 58(6), 672-694.

This paper investigates the amount of academic service performed by female versus male faculty. We use 2014 data from a large national survey of faculty at more than 140 institutions as well as 2012 data from an online annual performance reporting system for tenured and tenure–track faculty at two campuses of a large public, Midwestern University. We find evidence in both data sources that, on average, women faculty perform significantly more service than men, controlling for rank, race/ethnicity, and field or department. Our analyses suggest that the male–female differential is driven more by internal service—i.e., service to the university, campus, or department—than external service—i.e., service to the local, national, and international communities—although significant heterogeneity exists across field and discipline in the way gender differentials play out.

Hart, J. L., & Cress, C. M. (2008). Are women faculty just “worrywarts?” Accounting for gender differences in self-reported stress. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 17(1- 2), 175-193.

Contrary to notions that faculty women are overly sensitive and over-dramatize their work-life challenges, quantitative and qualitative data from a large public research university provide contrasting work-life experiences for female and male faculty. Significant gender differences, emphasized by rich description from faculty, are reported in teaching, service, and research responsibilities that contribute to increased levels of stress for women. Specific strategies for creating more equitable and less stressful work environments are highlighted.

Heilman, M. E. (2001). Description and prescription: How gender stereotypes prevent women's ascent up the organizational ladder. Journal of social issues, 57(4), 657-674.

This study examined the effects of gender stereotypes and the expectations they produce about both what women are like (descriptive) and how they should behave (prescriptive) in leadership roles. These stereotypes and prejudices resulted in the devaluation of women’s’ performance, denial of credit for their successes, and/ or penalization for being competent. Because of gender bias and the way in which it influences evaluations in work settings, the authors argue that being competent does not ensure that a woman will advance to the same organizational level as an equivalently performing man. Additionally, reflecting the injunctive aspects of the female role, women’s especially agentic behavior tended to produce negative reactions, whether delivered in a leaderless situation or as a leader, especially from male observers.

Link, A. N., Swan, C. A., & Bozeman, B. (2008). A time allocation study of university faculty. Economics of Education Review, 27, 363-374.

Many previous time allocation studies treat work as a single activity and examine trade-offs between work and other activities. This paper investigates the at-work allocation of time among teaching, research, grant writing and service by science and engineering faculty at top US research universities. We focus on the relationship between tenure (and promotion) and time allocation, and we find that tenure and promotion do affect the allocation of time. The specific trade-offs are related to particular career paths. For example, full professors spend increasing time on service at the expense of teaching and research while longer-term associate professors who have not been promoted to full professor spend significantly more time teaching at the expense of research time. Finally, our results suggest that women, on average, allocate more hours to university service and less time to research than do men.

Misra, J., Lundquist, J. H., Dahlberg Holmes, E., & Agiomavritis, S. (2011). The ivory ceiling of service work. Academe, 97(1), 22–26.

Research indicates that women faculty hit a glass ceiling near the top of the ivory tower. This study explores evidence of a glass ceiling among faculty at a research-intensive university. The authors found differences in when and what type of service men and women faculty take on as associate professors. Certain service roles (e.g. undergraduate director) were found to be associated with longer time to promotion. The authors also found differences in how much time associate professor men and women spend on service vs research, even though both men and women express a preference for research. The article ends with suggestions for policy changes to alter the service culture.

Mitchell, S. M., & Hesli, V. L. (2013). Women don't ask? Women don't say no? Bargaining and service in the political science profession. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46(2), 355-369.

This article examines the dual problems of “women don't ask” and “women don't say no” in the academic profession. First, we consider whether female faculty bargain more or less frequently than male faculty about such resources as salary, research support, clerical support, moving expenses, and spousal accommodation. Analyzing a 2009 APSA survey, we find that women are more likely to ask for resources than men when considering most categories of bargaining issues. This finding goes against conventional wisdom in the literature on gender and bargaining that suggests that women are less likely to bargain than men. Second, we seek to understand if women are reluctant to say no when asked to provide service at the department, college, university, or disciplinary levels. We find that women are asked to provide more service and that they agree to serve more frequently than men. We also find that the service women provide is more typically “token” service, as women are less likely to be asked by their colleagues to serve as department chair, to chair committees, or to lead academic programs. The implications of these results for the leaky pipeline in the academic profession are discussed.

O'Meara, K. (2016). Whose problem is it? Gender differences in faculty thinking about campus service. Teachers College Record, 118(080306), 1-38.

Empirical evidence suggests women faculty spend more time in campus service than men, which perpetuates inequality between men and women because research is valued more than service in academic reward systems, especially at research universities. In this qualitative study, I apply insights from research on gender inequality to examine whether women and men faculty at a research university were thinking about their campus service differently. I found that, overall, more women framed campus service in communal terms and expressed local orientations toward campus service; more men positioned service as a campus problem, and noted their own interests to avoid or minimize involvement in campus service so as not to hurt their career. In a smaller group of cases, the faculty member expressed the dominant pattern for the other gender; however, even in these cases participants provided examples of the dominant pattern for their gender as well. In all cases, women and men were influenced by gendered ways of thinking about work, and gendered organizational practices that permeated their socialization and work environments.

O’Meara, K., Jaeger, A., Misra, J. Lennartz, C. & Kuvaeva, A. (2018, December 19). Undoing disparities in faculty workloads: A randomized trial experiment. PLOS One 13(12).

We conducted a randomized control study to improve equity in how work is taken up, assigned and rewarded in academic departments. We used a four-part intervention targeting routine work practices, department conditions, and the readiness of faculty to intervene to shape more equitable outcomes over an 18-month period. Our goal was to (a) increase the number of routine work practices that department faculty could enact to ensure equity, (b) enhance conditions within the department known to positively enhance equity, and (c) improve the action readiness of department faculty to ensure equity in division of labor. Post intervention faculty in participating departments were more likely than before the intervention to report work practices and conditions that support equity and action readiness in their department, and that teaching and service work in their department is fair. Participating departments were significantly more likely than control departments to report practices and conditions that support equity and greater action readiness to address issues of workload equity in their department. Finally, participating department faculty were more likely than control department faculty to report increased self-advocacy and were more likely than control department faculty to report that the distribution of teaching and service work in their department is fair.

O'Meara, K., Lennartz, C., Kuvaeva, A., Jaeger, A., Misra, J. (2019). Department Conditions and Practices Associated with Faculty Workload Satisfaction and Perceptions of Equity. The Journal of Higher Education.

For decades, national surveys have shown faculty report high levels of dissatisfaction with the distribution of labor in their departments, especially women and underrepresented minor-ity faculty. Research suggests this dissatisfaction is warranted, as these groups are often engaged in more service, mentoring, and institutional housekeeping than their peers. Despite the ample work revealing workload inequities and their conse-quences, few studies have examined the backdrop of condi-tions and practices within which workload is perceived as more or less fair, especially within departments. Drawing on survey data from 30 academic departments in Maryland, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, we empirically test three proposi-tions about the conditions under which faculty experience their department workloads as equitable. We found depart-ments where faculty reported equitable work conditions and practices (e.g., transparency, clarity, rotations of time-intensive roles) were significantly more likely than departments where faculty did not report these conditions and practices to report satisfaction with workload distribution, and satisfaction with teaching and service activities. Department work practices and conditions had a small or insignificant effect on faculty intent to leave. Interestingly, faculty confidence in the ability to enact these practices and conditions, which we termed action readi-ness, was not predictive of faculty satisfaction with workload distribution or teaching and service activities. We outline impli-cations for academic leaders seeking to make academic work-loads more transparent and equitable, and for future research.

O'Meara, K., Kuvaeva, A., & Nyunt, G. (2017). Constrained choices: A view of campus service inequality from annual faculty reports. The Journal of Higher Education, 88(5), 672-700.

Time is a valuable resource in academic careers. Empirical evidence suggests women faculty spend more time in campus service than men. Yet some studies show no difference when relevant variables are included. The primary source of data for most workload studies is cross-sectional surveys that have several weaknesses. This study investigated campus service inequality and factors that predict it at 1 research university using a novel and more comprehensive source of data - annual faculty reports. The investigation was guided by Kanter’s work on the role of power and representation and Lewis and Simpson’s rereading of Kanter’s work to focus on gender, power, and representation. The authors examined 1,146 records of faculty campus service during 2 years. In both years, women faculty reported more total campus service than men while controlling for race, rank, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and the critical mass of women in a department. When considering levels of service, women reported higher numbers of service activities at the department and university levels. Women in male- dominated fields tended to have service workloads more like their peers and less like women in non-STEM fields. The article concludes with considerations regarding implications for organizing practices that maintain inequity between men and women in campus service.

O'Meara, K., Kuvaeva, A., Nyunt, G., Waugaman, C., & Jackson, R. (2017). Asked more often: Gender differences in faculty workload in research universities and the work interactions that shape them. American Educational Research Journal, 54(6), 1154-1186.

Guided by research on gendered organizations and faculty careers, we examined gender differences in how research university faculty spend their work time. We used time-diary methods to understand faculty work activities at a micro-level of detail, as recorded by faculty themselves over 4 weeks. We also explored workplace interactions that shape faculty workload. Similar to past studies, we found women faculty spending more time on campus service, student advising, and teaching-related activities and men spending more time on research. We also found that women received more new work requests than men and that men and women received different kinds of work requests. We consider implications for future research and the career advancement of women faculty in research universities.

Pyke, K. (2011). Service and gender inequity among faculty. PS: Political Science & Politics, 44(1), 85- 87.

This article describes social structural inequities in the academy that contribute to gender imbalances in faculty service demands, which can slow women's career advancement. The author criticizes as ill-considered and ineffective the popular notion that the solution rests with individual female faculty, who should “just say no” to service. Instead, she proposes structural and cultural solutions to this systemic problem, including a revaluation of faculty labor required to maintain the day-to-day operation of institutions of higher learning and research.

Ridgeway, C. L., & Correll, S. J. (2004). Unpacking the gender system: A theoretical perspective on gender beliefs and social relations. Gender and Society, 18, 510–531.

According to the perspective developed in this article, widely shared, hegemonic cultural beliefs about gender and their impact in what the authors call “social relational” contexts are among the core components that maintain and change the gender system. When gender is salient in these ubiquitous contexts, cultural beliefs about gender function as part of the rules of the game, biasing the behaviors, performances, and evaluations of otherwise similar men and women in systematic ways that the authors specify. While the biasing impact of gender beliefs may be small in any one instance, the consequences cumulate over individuals’ lives and result in substantially different outcomes for men and women. After describing this perspective, the authors show how it sheds new light on some defining features of the gender system and illustrate its implications for research into specific questions about gender inequality.

Winslow, S. (2010). Gender inequality and time allocations among academic faculty. Gender & Society, 24(6), 769-793.

This article focuses on faculty members’ allocation of time to teaching and research, conceptualizing these—and the mismatch between preferred and actual time allocations—as examples of gender inequality in academic employment. Utilizing data from the 1999 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, I find that (1) women faculty members prefer to spend a greater percentage of their time on teaching, while men prefer to spend more time on research, although these preferences are themselves constrained; (2) women faculty members spend a greater percentage of their workweek on teaching and a smaller percentage on research than men, gaps that cannot be explained by preferences or educational and institutional attributes; and (3) women faculty members have larger time allocation mismatches than men—that is, their actual time allocations to both teaching and research diverge more from their preferred time allocations than those of men. These findings shed light on how gender inequality is both produced and maintained in this aspect of academic employment and have implications for job satisfaction, productivity, and the recruitment and retention of current and future faculty members, especially women.