InsideHigherEd: Model for Success
March 23, 2017 / By Colleen Flaherty
New paper proposes framework for supporting the needs of pretenure faculty members, namely making sure they’re poised to find intrinsic motivation.
Both hiring and signing on as a new assistant professor involve risk; if the commitment doesn’t work out, both the institution and the faculty member denied tenure have lost valuable time and resources. Naturally, then, there’s a large of body of literature on how to promote junior faculty members’ success, and a new study builds on three recurring themes: balance between research, teaching and service and between work and home; clear expectations about professional responsibilities; and collegiality.
The study’s authors proposed and tested a conceptual model of pretenure faculty success that incorporates additional research on motivation — namely self-determination theory. The gist is that when pretenure faculty members’ social-environmental concerns are addressed, “their basic psychosocial needs will be satisfied, resulting in optimal motivation and greater reported success in teaching and research.”