The initial results of a faculty-sponsored job satisfaction survey reveal that the university’s professors and staff overwhelmingly disapprove of President David Adamany’s leadership and do not believe that morale has improved during the past several years.
The Faculty Senate Steering Committee and the Temple Association of University Professionals released last week a portion of the 46-question morale survey the groups conducted in February. According to organizers, the joint analysis is the first of its kind at Temple.
The initial nine results represent “the more interesting and perhaps more important findings we have unearthed so far,” TAUP President William W. Cutler III said.
Among the findings:
• Seventy four percent of respondents disagreed with the question, “Faculty morale has improved at Temple over the past several years.”
Only 8 percent agreed while 18 percent were neutral.
• Forty five percent of respondents said they do not feel valued as an employee and 57 percent said they are not satisfied with their involvement in work-related decisions.
• Although 48 percent of respondents said they are satisfied with the direction of change in faculty during the past several years, only 34 percent said they would recommend Temple as a good place to work.
• Most respondents said they are satisfied with the information they receive from their department (71 percent), from the Faculty Senate (59 percent) and from TAUP (75 percent). The results were nearly reversed for the provost and the president: 58 percent said they were dissatisfied with the information coming from the provost’s office and 63 percent said the same for the president.
• Sixty five percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the leadership displayed by their department and 62 percent said they were satisfied with TAUP’s leadership. Deans and the Faculty Senate fared worse, with 35 percent of respondents saying they are satisfied with the leadership of each group.
• The lowest approval ratings were for the provost and for the president. Only 12 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the provost’s leadership (24 percent neutral, 64 percent disagreed) and only 13 percent said they were satisfied with the president’s leadership (18 percent neutral, 69 percent disagreed).
The raw data represent 573 respondents, out of a pool of 1,419 faculty and staff who received the survey. The initial results were not broken down by demographics, and “agree/strongly agree” and “disagree/strongly disagree” answers were combined into single agree and disagree columns.
Organizers and professors who took the survey said they weren’t surprised by the results, considering Adamany’s often contentious management style.
“It’s no secret that since the current administration has been in place there have been a lot of changes at Temple,” said Michael Klein, a recently tenured professor of music theory. “Personally, I think many of the changes have been great; I think Temple is going in the right direction. But when the Faculty Senate has said, ‘We don’t like this direction’ or ‘We don’t want to go this way,’ the administration hasn’t always responded. I think the faculty is feeling a little frustrated.”
Organizers said the survey was devised last fall before the president announced his retirement. But now that Adamany will hand over his post in less than three months, the analysis will be used to send a collective signal of faculty and staff sentiment to the incoming administration. Faculty Senate President Jane Evans, who is a member of the Presidential Search Committee, said that if the new president increases the involvement of the staff when making decisions, “morale will go shooting through the roof again.”
“It was a very personal decision to speak out about the president at this point, but not the position of the president or of the institution,” Evans said. “The faculty really love Temple and are looking forward to a great deal of healing once the new president comes in.”
In response, the president listed in a written statement a number of changes the university has gone through during “a period of great change.”
“New academic policies have been adopted to serve students, such as student evaluations of teaching and a requirement for complete syllabi in all courses. Course grading practices and academic rigor are being closely examined. And many new faculty who are highly qualified and nationally competitive have been hired,” the statement said in part.
“More than 50 percent of the Temple faculty are 56 years of age or older and served at Temple for many years. We recognize that some faculty who have served a long time will find all these changes unsettling,” Adamany wrote. “Nonetheless, we believe that Temple and its students are well served by significant changes in the academic program of the university and that over time the faculty will recognize and accept the importance of these changes.”
After being informed of Adamany’s statement, Evans replied: “What was really interesting in the survey is that the faculty did not disagree with the direction Temple is going. The problem is with the president. It is not with the direction of Temple. He has misread the feeling among the faculty.”
The full results of the survey will likely not be released before the end of the semester.
Brandon Lausch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.