Research in Higher Education

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 31–57 | Cite as

Concern about forecasts of national faculty shortages and the importance of local studies

  • Steve Chatman
  • Loren Jung
AIR Forum Issue


The higher education popular press has published several forecasts of faculty shortages due to the mass retirement of expansion era faculty and the forecasted low numbers of doctoral graduates. These forecasts of national shortages encouraged a local study of faculty attrition in a four-campus university system. The local study considered two factors not accounted for in national studies but important locally: whether disciplinary field of study or campus location (urban or rural) has been associated with faculty attrition in the recent past and should therefore be considered when modeling demand for new faculty. Discipline and institution location were found to have no significant effect on the likelihood of faculty to continue employment from year to year when faculty age was controlled. Although retirement rate was expected to increase, no evidence of mass retirements producing an increased demand for new faculty was found. The lack of forecasted increases in demand for faculty locally led to reconsideration of national forecast studies, especially when it was determined that the age distribution of faculty across system campuses was similar to faculty nationwide. This paper questions whether there is sufficient evidence, as presented in the popular press, to support special action to increase the supply of faculty.


Local Study Modeling Demand Popular Press Disciplinary Field Doctoral Graduate 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Chatman
    • 1
  • Loren Jung
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Missouri SystemUSA
  2. 2.Budget and Analytical ServicesUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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