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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2012003100
pages 1-19

EXAMINING THE COMPLEXITIES OF FACULTY ATTRITION: AN ANALYSIS OF STEM AND NON-STEM FACULTY WHO REMAIN AND FACULTY WHO LEAVE THE INSTITUTION

Ann Burnett
Director of Women and Gender Studies Program, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108
Canan Bilen-Green
Vice Provost for Faculty, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108
Christi R. McGeorge
Department of Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58108, USA
Cali L. Anicha
FORWARD Research Associate, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108

ABSTRACT

University personnel have long wrestled with the question of why faculty leave the institution. In particular, scholars have drawn attention to the dearth of university women faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. Using a quantitative method and supplementing it with qualitative data, this study advances understanding of retention by studying attrition at an upper-Midwest land grant institution, examining differences between faculty who remained at the institution and faculty who left. We further compared these results by gender and STEM and non-STEM status. Results revealed that, not surprisingly, resigned faculty were less satisfied in the areas of Climate, Culture, and Collegiality; Policies and Procedures; and Global Satisfaction than were current faculty; resigned faculty did not differ by gender nor by non-STEM or STEM status. Current women faculty were less satisfied than current men faculty, and current non-STEM faculty were less satisfied than current STEM faculty. In the area of Policies and Procedures, an interaction effect was found for gender and STEM/non-STEM status; non-STEM women reported the lowest satisfaction and STEM women reported the highest. Implications of these results and recommendations for future investigation are offered.


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