Full-time dental faculty perceptions of satisfaction with the academic work environment

Mary Lynn Froeschle, Jeanne C. Sinkford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A significant factor in a faculty member's accepting or maintaining an academic appointment is the work environment. Assessing the work environment to identify characteristics that could increase faculty retention and recruitment could be valuable to an educational institution. This study assessed the academic dental work environment to identify positive and negative areas affecting career satisfaction. An online survey about departmental structure and individual work patterns was sent to the deans of fifty-two U.S. dental schools who then forwarded the survey to their faculty. Thirty-eight institutions (73 percent) and 451 fulltime faculty members from those thirty-eight schools responded. Most dental faculty members in this survey intend to remain in academia for the next fve to eight years. Slightly fewer male faculty members intend to remain in dental education for five to eight years than do female faculty members. Positive satisfaction aspects of the work environment listed by respondents included supportive chair/administration, working relationships with colleagues, and interactions with students. Negative satisfaction aspects of the work environment included low salary, long hours, and heavy workloads. Both positive aspects of job satisfaction and negative factors that impede productivity need to be analyzed within the framework of each institution to enact change for career enrichment, leading to increased faculty recruitment and retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1170
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Academic environment
  • Dental faculty
  • Faculty recruitment
  • Faculty retention
  • Job satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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