Faculty Morale: A Perspective for Academic Leaders

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Faculty morale plays an important role in academic life. Morale influences faculty behavior, productivity, and quality of teaching; ultimately affects student learning and program quality; and is predictive of faculty turnover. It is an often overlooked but worthy challenge for academic leaders. This article examines faculty morale, its meaning, and factors that influence it and explores strategies for promoting it in a university department. Faculty morale is a cognitive, emotional, and motivational approach toward the work of the department and may be reflected by a sense of common purpose, group cohesion, and a sense of personal value in the organization. Research shows that faculty morale is affected by various aspects of work life including workload, supportive resources, and recognition. However, evidence also suggests that 2 of the strongest variables influencing morale are relationships with colleagues and perceptions of the abilities and actions of the department leader. Strategies are suggested for promoting faculty morale that are derived from the research, a survey of department chairs, and experience.

The author is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond LA.

Address correspondence to ehebert@selu.edu.
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