The aim of the Millennium Project is to enhance the development of an institutional culture at the University of Arizona that fosters productivity, creativity and academic excellence. The Project supports the University’s goal of achieving an enabling academic climate that will allow all faculty, staff and students to be productive, and unhindered by any impediments due to considerations of gender, race/ethnicity, or any other reason. To that end, a study has been underway since January to examine issues affecting the professional lives of the faculty.
To date, over 250 individual faculty have participated in interviews, focus groups, or discussions groups. The questions have addressed three primary areas: 1) faculty roles as scholars, teachers, and colleagues; 2) policies and procedures that support or hinder those roles; and 3) ideas for change.
The participants include approximately 160 faculty who were randomly selected across gender, race/ethnicity, academic rank, and academic department. The other participants attended discussions of already existing campus groups (e.g., business women faculty, women in academic medicine, association for women faculty) or other administrative groups (e.g., faculty senate, associate deans, department chairs). Additional qualitative data will be gathered in fall 2000 from faculty with disabilities and from gay, lesbian, and bisexual faculty.
Of the total participants, approximately 80 percent are women faculty and 21 percent are faculty of color. They are equally distributed across academic rank (25% full professors, 24% associate professors, 21 % assistant professors, 30% other) and represent membership in all of the University’s colleges and professional schools. These figures are consistent with our original goals for the project, given that academic climate issues have been shown to differentially affect women and faculty of color.
While analysis of the qualitative data is currently underway and it would be premature to draw any conclusions, a few themes have emerged which include: salary, promotion and tenure, teaching and advising loads, diversity issues, and distribution of resources.
Existing quantitative data are being analyzed for both internal and
national comparisons. Release of a final report is scheduled for
April 1, 2001.