Faculty Thriving Quotient
The Faculty Thriving Quotient (FTQ) is an instrument developed to assess the vital engagement of full-time faculty in their role. The Faculty Thriving Quotient is a valid and reliable (ɑ = .94) instrument that assesses faculty flourishing in five dimensions: Meaningful Engagement, Institutional Affinity, Relational Support, Student Impact, and Affirmed Value. Attention to the predictors and campus elements supportive of faculty thriving can enable institutional leaders to more effectively serve their students by supporting their faculty.
The 21 items on the FTQ cluster onto 5 scales:
Meaningful Engagement – (ɑ = .87) A measure of the degree to which faculty are energized by their work, experience positive emotions doing faculty work, and find meaning and purpose in their accomplishments and in the faculty role. Sample item: “I feel energized by my work as a faculty member here.”
Institutional Affinity – (ɑ = .92) A measure of the degree to which faculty enjoy being at their particular institution, believe their values are aligned with the mission of the institution, feel like they belong at the institution, are proud to represent the institution in the broader academic community, and would stay at the institution if offered an equivalent position elsewhere. Sample item: “I feel like I belong here.”
Relational Support – (ɑ = .79) An indicator of the positive relationships faculty have with their faculty colleagues and staff coworkers, along with the degree to which they feel supported and valued in those relationships. Sample item: “I feel valued by my faculty colleagues.”
Student Impact – (ɑ = .67) A measure of the degree to which faculty believe they make a difference in students’ lives and enjoy working with students. Sample item: “I enjoy my work with students.”
Affirmed Value – (ɑ = .85) A measure of the degree to which faculty believe their immediate supervisor cares about them, along with whether they have received positive feedback from their supervisor in the last year. Immediate supervisor is defined as their program director, department chair, or dean. Sample item: “My immediate supervisor (department chair, program director, or dean) cares about me as a person.”
Faculty play a pivotal role in student learning, success, and thriving. Yet faculty often respond to data on student thriving with questions about how students can thrive if faculty themselves are not thriving. Examining thriving among faculty developed out of a desire to understand the faculty experience beyond productivity and satisfaction, as well as to provide institutions with actionable feedback on how to improve the experiences of their faculty so that students could learn and thrive. Dr. Laurie Schreiner (Azusa Pacific University) and Dr. Tami Martinez (Indiana University-South Bend) developed the Faculty Thriving Quotient (FTQ) using concepts from positive psychology (e.g., flourishing) and positive organizational scholarship. Faculty thriving reflects not only what a faculty member does in their faculty role, but also their relationship to the institution where they work and the ways in which they interact with others in that space that bring joy and a sense of meaning and purpose.
Research on faculty thriving has discovered that there are specific experiences that serve as significant pathways to thriving in the faculty role. The online instrument assesses these pathways, as well:
Trusted Leadership – (ɑ = .97) The strongest contributor to faculty thriving, this scale assesses trust in leadership, as well as support from leadership, effective communication within the institution, leaders’ commitment to faculty well-being, faculty voice in institutional decision-making, whether faculty perceive leaders to be competent, and optimism about the vision and future of the institution. Sample item: “There is a solid sense of trust between the faculty and administrators here.”
Equitable Environment – (ɑ = .82) A measure of the degree to which faculty feel they are free from stigmatization or discrimination, as well as their perception of the institution’s support and commitment to diverse perspectives and equity. Sample item: “Faculty are treated equitably at this institution, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender.”
Work-Life Integration -- (ɑ = .81) A measure of the extent to which faculty feel capable of meeting the demands of their role, are able to handle all they are asked to do, and believe that their workload allows for a healthy work/life balance. Sample item: “My faculty workload allows me to maintain a healthy work/life balance.”
The online survey also includes measures of satisfaction with pay and benefits, job security, and levels of participation in university committees, leadership roles, and external commitments. Demographic characteristics of the faculty include gender, race/ethnicity, age, marital status, highest degree earned, rank, years at the institution, tenure status, discipline, teaching and advising load, and administrative responsibilities.