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ERIC Number: ED551344
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-7497-2
An Examination of Leaders' Perceptions and Strategies in Addressing Faculty Recruitment, Retention and Support in Times of Economic Crisis
Little-Wiles, Julie M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
Using the embedded case study method, this investigation described the experiences, relationships, and perspectives of administrative leaders within the higher education environment during the most recent economic crisis, specifically attempting to answer the question of, "How does an economic crisis, like the most current recession, impact a university leader's ability to deal with the issues of faculty recruitment, retention and support?" Participants in the study were 8 administrators from Purdue University, a Land-grant institution. In addition to the interview data related documentation was also examined, and analysis of all the data collected resulted in the development of 75 descriptive codes which were then categorized into a total of eight emergent themes within the study. The eight emergent themes included: (1) leadership insights; (2) sense of mission or business as usual; (3) negative consequences of the recession; (4) Perceptions/Attitudes/Feelings/Assumptions/Values/assumptions/values; (5) alternative strategies; (6) positive consequences of the recession; (7) the quest for information and input; and (8) other significant concerns. Outcomes of the study were that the recession had an impact on each area of question within the study: recruitment, retention, support and the relationship, and dealt with the impact with the use coping mechanisms. For recruitment, the recession had an impact in the area of hiring faculty as the number during this timeframe was decreased but not halted altogether. In regard to retention efforts, the recession made it harder to retain top-performing faculty but the university launched an initiative to assist their colleges and schools to try and support those efforts. As administrators were unable to provide support to their faculty with raises and other means during this time, they emphasized the idea of making the faculty feel valued by decreasing their workloads whenever possible. Finally, to ensure the relationship between the faculty and administration was not altered, the leadership employed communication and transparency with the situation whenever possible. Based upon this research, recommendations for future university leadership facing an economic crisis include: (1) more inclusion of faculty and staff early in the decision making process; (2) accessibility of administration to stakeholders; and (3) developing mechanisms for enhancing communication. Implications for future research include a number of studies such as a complimentary study done with the faculty, staff and other stakeholders at Purdue University to gain insight into the other side of these issues; a study with peer institution for a comparative study; and a study with private or community college for yet another comparative, but different study environment. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana