A Review of Faculty Perceptions, Barriers and Resources Related to Scholarly Productivity

Aurora Denial, OD, FAAO
Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to gain information on faculty members’ perceptions of their institutions’ expectations of scholarship, faculty members’ interests and perceptions of their own expectations of scholarship, and perceived barriers and resources to scholarship.

Methods: An online survey was developed and distributed to all faculty members listed in the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry directory of optometric institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Results: Faculty members perceived original research as most valued on an individual and institutional level. The expectation from both institutions and faculty for dissemination of scholarly work was publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Only 7% of the faculty responded that their primary scholarly interest was in education or educational theory. The most frequently perceived barriers to faculty scholarship were identified as clinical schedule (41%) and classroom/laboratory teaching schedule (23%). Faculty indicated that resources such as time allocated for scholarship (73%), financial support (37%) and mentorship (37%) would improve their ability to engage in productive scholarly activity.

Conclusion: Faculty members’ expectations for their own scholarship and perceived institutional expectations can impact scholarly productivity. In general, responses support an overall good fit between faculty members’ personal and professional expectations and how they perceive the expectations of their colleges and universities.

Key Words: faculty, scholarship, optometry

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