Job Enjoyment vs. Salary & Support

Did you know that while a great majority of faculty (69.4%) find satisfaction and enjoyment in their job, an overwhelming majority (78.4%) are dissatisfied with their wages and (82.8%) don’t feel their work is valued by upper administration (i.e., President and Board of Trustees)?

The “Faculty Life and Job Satisfaction” survey, sponsored by the Faculty Association’s Faculty Enhancement Committee and UFF-UNF, captured feedback on working conditions, job satisfaction, mentoring, and faculty evaluation measures. UNF has conducted similar surveys in past years not only to measure faculty perceptions of workplace issues at a given point in time, but also to provide information to guide faculty governance, administration, and policy reviews.

The survey report can be read in full here, but the following passages demonstrate the fierce commitment of UNF faculty to our students, the university, and each other. Faculty are satisfied in teaching, research, and service. However, that stands in sharp contrast to faculty perceptions of low wages, and perceptions of being valued by the upper administration.

Job Enjoyment

Faculty were asked their level of satisfaction with job enjoyment. The majority (69.4%) indicated they were somewhat (43.0%) or extremely satisfied (26.4%) with their enjoyment of their job.

Comments Related to Job Enjoyment

Faculty made 8 separate positive comments about their working conditions. When discussing generally positive statements, faculty mentioned other faculty members, students, and their department chairs. They expressed appreciation for the talented and dedicated faculty and the work that their colleagues did.

Salary and Benefits

Additionally, the survey asked faculty about their level of satisfaction with their annual salary. The majority (78.4%) of faculty indicated they are either extremely dissatisfied (49.4%) or somewhat dissatisfied (29.0%) with their annual salary. Notably, this level of dissatisfaction was not significantly different across part-time or full-time status, rank, or college, despite the salary differentials by rank. Thus, at all levels, faculty are dissatisfied with their annual salary.

Comments Related to Salary

The largest comment category concerned low salary, with 36 faculty members across colleges and rank expressing concerns. Respondents noted concerns about compression and inversion and a lack of salary increases to keep up with inflation. Faculty linked low salary to feelings of low morale and lack of respect from administration. They also cited low salaries causing difficulties with retention and recruitment of faculty members.

Related to salary and the university budget, three faculty members expressed concerns over the number of administrative positions compared to faculty positions at the university.

Value from Upper Administration

Few faculty (17.2%) agreed with the statement that their work is valued by upper administration (i.e., President and Board of Trustees), with 17.7% disagreeing and 39.4% strongly disagreeing with the statement. There were no significant differences by rank or by college. (A note for clarity: the chart reflects feedback from full-time faculty only, while the paragraph data reflects full-time and adjunct faculty combined.)

Comments Related to Leadership

Three faculty members indicated positive feelings toward leadership at the department, college, and/or university level. An additional faculty member specifically mentioned the Provost as supportive of faculty. Six faculty members indicated there was poor leadership at the college level (across several colleges, with three being from the College of Arts and Sciences), while seven commented on poor leadership in general at the university level.

Nineteen faculty members specifically mentioned that they feel unsupported by the university president. These faculty indicated they feel disrespected and unvalued by the administration, and that they are not heard. Faculty stated they feel this has contributed to loss in fundraising, recruitment of students and faculty, and advocacy for the university. Several faculty indicated they felt an adversarial tone from the president and expressed concern over his communication and relations with faculty organizations. These faculty also feel the president is not connected to faculty and does not understand the faculty perspective.

These takeaways are a small part of a wide-ranging survey, and we encourage you to read the executive summary and full report.

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