Thesis

Faculty experiences through a diversity lens: an investigation of teaching professors' occupational self-efficacy

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--California State University, Sacramento, 2017.

Previous research has shown that faculty of color were challenged with racism and discrimination at universities, which influenced their productivity and satisfaction with their work. In addition, since there has been a decline in tenure track appointments at universities, more non-tenure track faculty members are becoming employed. Using the idea of efficacious action as a source of efficacy-based self-esteem, this research investigated whether race and faculty classification affected the amount of opportunities for and the nature of meanings associated with efficacious actions of faculty members. Based on qualitative and quantitative survey responses provided by 55 professors at a large teaching university, results showed all respondents reported relatively high occupational self-efficacy. However, the opportunities and meanings of efficacious action varied by race and classification. Contingent faculty did not feel that their research efforts and interests were supported by the university. Correspondingly, more tenured-track faculty felt that they did not have enough time for their research and service responsibilities compared to non-tenured track faculty. Findings also showed that some faculty of color felt that the university was not supportive of the nature of their research topics, shaping their opportunities and meanings as a researcher differently compared to White faculty. Overall, regardless of race, professors viewed themselves positively, yet faculty of color faced barriers in having the opportunities for efficacious action or defining their action to be accepted with positive meaning. Lastly, students and colleagues were found to be a resource for faculty of color compared to White faculty; specifically, students and colleagues of color carried meanings for their actions as faculty member. Race was central in guiding faculty of color’s teaching, research and service responsibilities.

Previous research has shown that faculty of color were challenged with racism and discrimination at universities, which influenced their productivity and satisfaction with their work. In addition, since there has been a decline in tenure track appointments at universities, more non-tenure track faculty members are becoming employed. Using the idea of efficacious action as a source of efficacy-based self-esteem, this research investigated whether race and faculty classification affected the amount of opportunities for and the nature of meanings associated with efficacious actions of faculty members. Based on qualitative and quantitative survey responses provided by 55 professors at a large teaching university, results showed all respondents reported relatively high occupational self-efficacy. However, the opportunities and meanings of efficacious action varied by race and classification. Contingent faculty did not feel that their research efforts and interests were supported by the university. Correspondingly, more tenured-track faculty felt that they did not have enough time for their research and service responsibilities compared to non-tenured track faculty. Findings also showed that some faculty of color felt that the university was not supportive of the nature of their research topics, shaping their opportunities and meanings as a researcher differently compared to White faculty. Overall, regardless of race, professors viewed themselves positively, yet faculty of color faced barriers in having the opportunities for efficacious action or defining their action to be accepted with positive meaning. Lastly, students and colleagues were found to be a resource for faculty of color compared to White faculty; specifically, students and colleagues of color carried meanings for their actions as faculty member. Race was central in guiding faculty of color’s teaching, research and service responsibilities.

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