Faculty Attitudes: Bringing Colleagues Together

By Meg Milligan and Kevin Morris.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interdisciplinary research collaboration is burgeoning, but not between faculty in the departments of English and behavioral sciences. Beginning with an observation that English faculty tended to be “depressed” at the end of a semester while behavioral sciences faculty did not, the investigators (one from each department) worked together and developed quantitative (the 26–item Likert-type Faculty Attitudes Questionnaire, FAQ) and qualitative (open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews) assessments and conducted a two-part study to compare attitudes, each discipline’s culture, and syllabi of full-time English (n = 18, 67% women, 89% Caucasian) and behavioral sciences (n = 9, 55% men, 67% Caucasian) faculty at a community college in the United States. Results supported the initial observation and other hypotheses. English faculty overall expressed more negative feelings, more mental exhaustion, more aggregate negative attitudes, and more start of semester physical exhaustion compared to their behavioral sciences colleagues. This collaborative process is time consuming, but enables insight into similarities and differences, the value of a mixed methods approach in lieu of using one discipline’s research techniques, and pathways toward a more interdisciplinary pedagogical approach.

Keywords: Faculty Attitudes, Interdisciplinary, Community College, Collaboration

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 9, pp.97-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 809.554KB).

Dr. Meg Milligan

Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA

Dr. Meg Milligan’s academic credentials include a B.A. from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Auburn University, Alabama. Milligan completed an internship at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tuskegee, Alabama, with rotations in outpatient posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), inpatient psychiatry, geriatrics, and neuropsychology. Milligan is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Troy University, Alabama. Milligan received the 2009 Montgomery Campus Faculty Excellence Award. Milligan’s research interests focus on college student persistence and retention, health behavior and attitudes, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Dr. Kevin Morris

Professor, English Department, Greenville Technical College, Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Dr. Kevin Morris has a B.A. in English from Fordham University, an M.A., also in English, from New Mexico Highlands University, and an Ed.D. in vocational/technical education from Clemson University. In addition to Morris’s duties as a professor of English at Greenville Technical College, Morris is also the college’s Faculty Fellow; in that capacity, Morris works with faculty development, including providing consultations, developing and presenting workshops, and leading a community college teaching course for all new faculty.

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