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Institutional Research Newsletter

Volume 5, Issue 1
November 2004

About OIR

Mission Statement

Staff:

About University Planning & Analysis

Staff:

  • Al Menard,
    Associate Vice President
  • Susan Linn,
    Executive Assistant

Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

2002-04 Research Notes

2002-04 Research Studies

Table of Contents

University Planning and Analysis and OIR staff have been busy with several major projects this past summer and fall.
Below are links to important additions to our Web site.

Research Notes

Research Note: Faculty Activity Survey Summary,
Fall 2003

The Office of Institutional Research at James Madison University conducts every other year a survey of faculty activity. While minor changes have been made to the survey forms from year to year, essentially the same information has been collected since 1972. Information from these surveys has been used for a variety of purposes, including accreditation studies, the SACS self-study, support of grant applications, and the clarification of the public's understanding of faculty workload and responsibilities.

Full-time faculty and all other individuals who taught a course for credit completed the survey. Sixty-nine percent of respondents completed the online survey, a significant decrease from 89 percent in 2002.

Full-time faculty reported an average of 54.5 weekly hours of activity, slightly above of 54.2 in 2001. In Fall 1985 the average was 52.4 hours. Departmental means ranged from a low of 48.0 to a high of 81.7 weekly hours. The average number of weekly hours devoted to direct contact with students in class meetings was 9.7 (11.4 in 1985) and the average number of hours spent in preparing for class was 15.2 (15.3 in 1985). This equates to about 1.6 hours of preparation for each hour spent in the classroom. Faculty reported an average of 3.6 hours in other contact activities such as individual study supervision, review sessions, thesis and dissertation advising, supervision of graduate student research, and supervising internships and student teachers. Faculty spent an average of 2.9 hours in pedagogical development, including curriculum development, mentoring junior faculty and teaching assistants, and activities related to enhancing their own teaching effectiveness. Faculty spent an average of 5.5 hours in advising and counseling, including office hours, academic program advising, writing recommendation letters, and non-credit instruction. Overall, instructional activities consumed 36.9 hours per week (31.3 in 1985), or 67.7 percent (59.8 in 1985).

The proportion of time devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activities by full-time faculty was down from 18.7 percent in 1995 to 16.7 percent in the Fall 2003 survey. In Fall 1985 the percentage devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activities was 17.9. However, some of the decline in research, professional development, and scholarly activities may be due to the fact that the proportion of full-time faculty whose rank is instructor has increased from 5.5 percent in 1995 to 10.5 percent in 2003, and instructors typically devote the majority of their time to instruction. As a group, professors, associate professors, and assistant professors devoted 12.3 percent of their time to these activities. The average full-time faculty member spent 1.6 hours (2.9 percent of total time) per week in professional development. The percent of hours devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activity has been relatively consistent for more than ten years; however, it has moved up from 5.6 percent of reported time in 1972.

Professors tend to spend a higher percentage of their time in Academic Support and Institutional Support while instructors tend to spend the vast majority of their time on instructional activities (82.6 percent).

The full Research Notes and tables may be viewed at: http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/notes/Vol18No2.pdf .

AAUP Faculty Salary Data, 2003-04

Annually JMU reports to the American Association of University Professors data on faculty salaries. AAUP takes these data and publishes in April its annual report on salaries for each institution. Data for JMU and its peer institutions can be found here.

May 2004 Graduates' Advice to New Freshmen

In May and June OIR distributed an alumni employment survey to new graduates. One question they were asked to answer was: "Looking back on your academic career at JMU, what is one piece of advice you would give to incoming freshman that you wished you had received?” A summary of actual comments was posted on the OIR Web site at http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/oir_highlight.shtml.

The comments were divided into several categories: Ask Questions; Campus Life; People; Classes; Life After JMU; Majors; Work Habits; Have Fun!; Teachers; Advising; Extracurricular Activities; Balance; Personal Values; Internships; Study Abroad.

Fall 2004 Freshman Survey

The annual Fall Freshman Survey was completed by 95 percent of potential respondents. The results have been summarized and can be found at:

http://www.jmu.edu/ie/Surveys/FreshmanSurvey2004.pdf.

May 2004 Graduates' Thoughts on Faculty

In May and June OIR distributed an alumni employment survey to new graduates. One question they were asked to answer was: "Can you think of any JMU faculty who had a particularly important impact on you? In shaping the way you think about yourself, or life, or the world around you, or your future? If yes, without naming the faculty member, tell us what this faculty member did that had such a strong impact." The following major themes emerged from the comments: Quality Learning Experience; Took Time To Care; Knowledge of Subject; Cares About Lives of Students; Concerned About Students’ Careers. A summary of the actual comments can be found here.

Research Note: Faculty Activity Survey Summary,
Fall 2003

The Office of Institutional Research at James Madison University conducts every other year a survey of faculty activity. While minor changes have been made to the survey forms from year to year, essentially the same information has been collected since 1972. Information from these surveys has been used for a variety of purposes, including accreditation studies, the SACS self-study, support of grant applications, and the clarification of the public's understanding of faculty workload and responsibilities.

Full-time faculty and all other individuals who taught a course for credit completed the survey. Sixty-nine percent of respondents completed the online survey, a significant decrease from 89 percent in 2002.

Full-time faculty reported an average of 54.5 weekly hours of activity, slightly above of 54.2 in 2001. In Fall 1985 the average was 52.4 hours. Departmental means ranged from a low of 48.0 to a high of 81.7 weekly hours. The average number of weekly hours devoted to direct contact with students in class meetings was 9.7 (11.4 in 1985) and the average number of hours spent in preparing for class was 15.2 (15.3 in 1985). This equates to about 1.6 hours of preparation for each hour spent in the classroom. Faculty reported an average of 3.6 hours in other contact activities such as individual study supervision, review sessions, thesis and dissertation advising, supervision of graduate student research, and supervising internships and student teachers. Faculty spent an average of 2.9 hours in pedagogical development, including curriculum development, mentoring junior faculty and teaching assistants, and activities related to enhancing their own teaching effectiveness. Faculty spent an average of 5.5 hours in advising and counseling, including office hours, academic program advising, writing recommendation letters, and non-credit instruction. Overall, instructional activities consumed 36.9 hours per week (31.3 in 1985), or 67.7 percent (59.8 in 1985).

The proportion of time devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activities by full-time faculty was down from 18.7 percent in 1995 to 16.7 percent in the Fall 2003 survey. In Fall 1985 the percentage devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activities was 17.9. However, some of the decline in research, professional development, and scholarly activities may be due to the fact that the proportion of full-time faculty whose rank is instructor has increased from 5.5 percent in 1995 to 10.5 percent in 2003, and instructors typically devote the majority of their time to instruction. As a group, professors, associate professors, and assistant professors devoted 12.3 percent of their time to these activities. The average full-time faculty member spent 1.6 hours (2.9 percent of total time) per week in professional development. The percent of hours devoted to research, professional development, and scholarly activity has been relatively consistent for more than ten years; however, it has moved up from 5.6 percent of reported time in 1972.

Professors tend to spend a higher percentage of their time in Academic Support and Institutional Support while instructors tend to spend the vast majority of their time on instructional activities (82.6 percent).

The full Research Notes and tables may be viewed at: http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/notes/Vol18No2.pdf .

AAUP Faculty Salary Data, 2003-04

Annually JMU reports to the American Association of University Professors data on faculty salaries. AAUP takes these data and publishes in April its annual report on salaries for each institution. Data for JMU and its peer institutions can be found here.

May 2004 Graduates' Advice to New Freshmen

In May and June OIR distributed an alumni employment survey to new graduates. One question they were asked to answer was: "Looking back on your academic career at JMU, what is one piece of advice you would give to incoming freshman that you wished you had received?” A summary of actual comments was posted on the OIR Web site at http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/oir_highlight.shtml.

The comments were divided into several categories: Ask Questions; Campus Life; People; Classes; Life After JMU; Majors; Work Habits; Have Fun!; Teachers; Advising; Extracurricular Activities; Balance; Personal Values; Internships; Study Abroad.

Fall 2004 Freshman Survey

The annual Fall Freshman Survey was completed by 95 percent of potential respondents. The results have been summarized and can be found at:

http://www.jmu.edu/ie/Surveys/FreshmanSurvey2004.pdf.

May 2004 Graduates' Thoughts on Faculty

In May and June OIR distributed an alumni employment survey to new graduates. One question they were asked to answer was: "Can you think of any JMU faculty who had a particularly important impact on you? In shaping the way you think about yourself, or life, or the world around you, or your future? If yes, without naming the faculty member, tell us what this faculty member did that had such a strong impact." The following major themes emerged from the comments: Quality Learning Experience; Took Time To Care; Knowledge of Subject; Cares About Lives of Students; Concerned About Students’ Careers. A summary of the actual comments can be found here.

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