Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Gross, Jacob P.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Pifer, Meghan

Committee Member

Sun, Jeffrey

Committee Member

Hirschy, Amy

Author's Keywords

faculty retention; faculty stress; job satisfaction; intent to leave; STEM


Low numbers of women faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines continues to be a concern in higher education. Even though completion of STEM degrees by women has increased in many disciplines, increases in the number of women faculty have not been seen. Additionally, women continue to leave faculty positions at twice the rate of men. In order to remain globally competitive, the US needs to retain a diverse STEM professoriate. This dissertation examined the factors influencing the retention of women faculty in STEM disciplines and their over-representation in non-research intensive institutions. The analysis was broken into two parts. Using the 2013 HERI Faculty Survey, the constructs faculty stress, job satisfaction, and intent to leave were first examined for faculty group differences based upon gender, discipline, and institution type using EFA and MIMIC analyses. In the second part, I examined the structural relationship between these three constructs using SEM techniques. Women faculty were found to be more stressed, less satisfied, and had greater intent to leave. Faculty stress had both direct and indirect effects on intent to leave with greater indirect effects occurring due to the mediation of job satisfaction. Ultimately, women faculty in STEM were more likely to have intent to leave due to high levels of stress reducing their job satisfaction. In order to retain women faculty in STEM disciplines, institutions will need to examine their practices and policies to ensure women faculty are not being disadvantaged or discriminated based on their biology. By enabling women faculty to achieve a better work-life balance will not only increase their retention but will strengthen the entire professoriate.