Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Ray Ostrander

Abstract

Problem. Institutions of higher education are in an important position in relation to fulfillment of their institutional mission. Boyer (1996) introduced to the higher education community an alternative approach to scholarship to address this shift from original mission. While Boyer (1990) examined institutions of higher education as a whole, the distinctive worldview, mission, and philosophy of reformed Christian institutions have not been examined to determine to what extent they are fulfilling their calling to transform creation and redeem culture. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine social perceptions that full-time faculty, serving in reformed institutions, hold about their institutional commitment to the scholarship of engagement.

Method. The sample for this study consisted of full-time faculty members (n = 274) serving in member institutions of the Association of Reformed Institutions in Higher Education (ARIHE) located in the United States. The survey research method was used to examine faculty social perceptions. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) ®version 11.5 was used to analyze the data using descriptive statistics, t tests, and ANOVA.

Results. Two primary research questions were explored to examine faculty social perceptions. The first question examined social perceptions in three categories: faculty colleagues, institutional mission, and faculty reward system. Study outcomes suggest faculty had strong perceptions about their faculty colleagues and institutional mission, but did not perceive that their institution had a strong commitment to the scholarship of engagement in its faculty reward system. The second research question asked how these social perceptions vary among faculty based on gender, race, rank, tenure, length of service, academic discipline, and faculty workload requirements. Results of the analysis found significance ( p < 0.05) in faculty workload requirements specifically in the areas of teaching load and committee load.

Conclusion. This study suggests that full-time faculty in these reformed Christian institutions hold strong social perceptions about the commitment of faculty colleagues and the institutional mission toward the scholarship of engagement, but this commitment is lacking in the area of the faculty reward system. More needs to be done in these institutions to encourage and reward faculty to fulfill their mission through scholarship of engagement activities.

Subject Area

Universities and colleges--Faculty, Universities and colleges--Administration--Planning

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