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Abstract

Today’s faculty confront challenges that are reshaping their workload and creating new demands and expectations. A decline in the proportion of tenured faculty and an increased reliance on temporary faculty is problematic in a time of strong enrollment growth. The American Association of University Professors (Trends in Faculty Status, 2007) reports the proportion of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty has declined from 56.8% in fall 1975 to 31.2% in fall 2007. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (2005, 2008) show enrollments increased from 17.92 million in fall 2005 to 19.57 million in fall 2008. Schaffhauser (2010) reports that from fall 2008 to fall 2009 enrollment in traditional programs grew by 2% while distance education grew 10 times faster with a 21% increase in students taking one or more distance courses. At the same time, Thorsen (2010) points out, static budgets, increasing class sizes and workload, and decreasing control over the work environment characterize today’s higher education, contributing to faculty stress and institutional retrenchment. Supporting data from Armenti (2008) show that over the last 25 years Pennsylvania saw state support in constant 2007 dollars drop by 16.5%, paralleling trends in other states. It is not an easy time to be a professor.

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