Fighting the war at home: A case study of faculty retention at UNC

Stephen Allred, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation examines the issue of faculty retention at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("UNC") between 2003 and 2006. The dissertation addresses two research questions. First, how severe was the faculty retention problem at UNC? Second, what factors were important to the faculty in deciding to stay at UNC or to go elsewhere? This dissertation is a case study of a major public research institution. Following a literature review, the dissertation presents findings from a comprehensive faculty survey and four focus groups, as well as two surveys of faculty who were recruited by other institutions. This use of concurrent triangulation strategy ensured a more reliable set of findings. Comparisons by race, gender, discipline, and rank are made, and although there were some differences noted among groups, the differences were not substantial. Using a factor analysis and a logistical regression, major reasons faculty stay or leave are identified. Salary concerns were the overriding reason faculty left UNC, but other issues of collegiality, research support, and departmental climate were also important. Although this dissertation is limited to the UNC faculty retention experience, the lessons drawn from the study should be of interest to both UNC senior leadership and to other public research universities. If they are to maintain high quality faculties, public research universities must develop compensation policies and employment practices that are appropriate for the new economic and demographic environment. This dissertation describes the efforts of UNC to meet at least part of that challenge.

Subject Area

School administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Allred, Stephen, "Fighting the war at home: A case study of faculty retention at UNC" (2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3255876.