The information-based economy globalizes the competition for talents and has changed the nature of international migration in recent decades. The rise of America has historically benefited from imported talents, and higher education has played a crucial role. By using 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF04), this research tries to reexamine the roles of foreign born faculty in four-year American colleges after September 11. Descriptive statistics and discriminant analysis demonstrate that foreign born faculty occupy a special niche in the American four-year colleges. We argue that American higher education still needs imported talents, especially in the areas of pure and applied sciences.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
The nature of illegal immigration has changed little since the term was first applied to this segment of international migration. The discussion included here of the changing nature of immigrants and immigration refers to legal immigration.
Academic rank includes Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and (full) Professor.
All job satisfaction questions are measured on a four-point Likert Scale: 1. very satisfied, 2. somewhat satisfied, 3. somewhat dissatisfied, and 4. very dissatisfied.
Alba, R., & Nee, V. (2003). Remaking the American mainstream: Assimilation and contemporary immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Altbach, P. G. (1995). Problems and possibilities: The US academic profession. Studies in Higher Education, 20(1), 27–44.
Altbach, P. G. (2004). Higher education crosses borders: Can the United States remain the top destination for foreign students? Change, 36(2), 18–24.
Altschuld, R. A. (2003). US Science Education: The view from a practicing scientist. Review of Policy Research, 20(4), 635–645.
Baldoz, R. (2004). Valorizing racial boundaries: Hegemony and conflict in the racialization of Filipino migrant labor in the United States. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27(6), 969–986.
Barkan, E. (2003). Return of the nativists? California opinion and immigration in the 1980s and 1990s. Social Science History, 27(2), 229–283.
Barnett, R., Carr, P., Boisnier, A., Ashe, A., Friedman, R., Moskowitz, M., et al. (1998). Relationships in gender and career motivation to medical faculty members’ production of academic publications. Academic Medicine, 73(2), 180–186.
Bean, F., & Stevens, G. (2003). America’s newcomers and the dynamics of diversity. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Benjamin, R. (2003). The environment of American higher education: A constellation of changes. The Annals of the American Academy of Politics and Social Science, 585, 8–30.
Blackburn, R. T., & Lawrence, J. H. (1995). Faculty at work: Motivation, expectation, satisfaction. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
Bloom, M., & Klein, W. (1995). Publications and citations: The state of faculty at leading schools of social work. Journal of Social Work Education, 31, 377–387.
Bowen, H. R., & Schuster, J. H. (1986). American Professors: A national resource imperiled. New York: Oxford University Press.
Buchen, I. H. (2003). Education in America: The next 25 years. Futurist, 37(1), 44–50.
Cataldi, E. F., Bradburn, E. M., Fahimi, M., & Zimbler L. (2005a). Background characteristics, work activities, and compensation of instructional faculty and staff: Fall 2003. Washington: NECS Report.
Cataldi, E. F., Bradburn, E. M., Fahimi, M. & Zimbler L. (2005b). 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF:04) Report on faculty and institutional staff in Fall 2003. Washington: NECS Report
Chew, K., & Liu, J. (2004). Hidden in plain sight: Global labor force exchange in the Chinese American population, 1880–1940. Population and Development Review, 30(1), 57–78.
Davia, L., Freeman, P., Carter, L. H., & Cartwright, R. (1983). Black faculty in predominantly white schools of social work: a qualitative assessment, Journal of Education for Social Work, 19(1), 15–23.
Dinnerstein, L., & Reimer, D. (1999). Ethnic Americans: A history of immigration (4th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.
Fairweather, J. (2002). The mythologies of faculty productivity: Implications for institutional policy and decision making. Journal of Higher Education, 73(1), 26–48.
Falk, W., Schulman, M., & Tickamyer, A. (Eds.). (2003). Communities of work: Rural restructuring in local and global contexts. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
Federation for American Immigration Reform—FAIR (2005). Retrieved July 4, 2005 from http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersb1c7/.
Finn, M. G. (2000). Stay rate of foreign doctorate recipients from U.S. universities. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.
Garson G. D. (2006). Discriminant function analysis. At http://www2.chass.ncsu.edu/garson/pa765/discrim.htm.
Gibbs, P., & Locke, B. (1989). Tenure and promotion in accredited graduate schools of social work. Journal of Social Work Education, 25(2), 126–133.
Green, R. (1998). Faculty rank, effort, and success: A study of publications in professional journals. Journal of Social Work Education, 34(3), 415–426.
Green, R., Bellin, M., & Baskind, F. (2002). Results of the doctoral faculty publication project: Journal article productivity and its correlates in the 1990s. Journal of Social Work Education, 38(1), 135–152.
Green, R., Hutchinson, L., & Sar, B. (1992). The research productivity of social work doctoral graduates. Social Service Review, 66, 441–466.
Hagan, J. M. (2004). Contextualizing immigrant labor market incorporation: Legal, demographic, and economic dimensions. Work and Occupations, 31(4), 407–423.
Hendricks, L. (2001). The economic performance of immigrants: A theory of assertive matching. International Economic Review, 42(2), 417–449.
Hill, B. (1987). A profile of job satisfaction among faculty members of selected Oklahoma public junior community colleges. Dissertation Abstract International, 48, 546-A.
Hunter, N. (2001). Immigrants on campus. The American Prospect, 12(20), 30.
Jasso, G., Rosenzweig, M. R., & Smith, J. P. (2002). The earnings of U.S. immigrants: World skill prices, skill transferability and selectivity. New York: Rand Corporation.
Jillson, C. (2004). Pursuing the American dream: Opportunities and exclusion over four centuries. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Johnson, J. M. & Regets M. C. (1998). International mobility of scientists and engineers to the United States—Brain drain or brain circulation? Issue brief, Division of Science Resources Studies, NSF 98-316, June 22.
Lee, S. (2002). Do Asian American faculty face a glass ceiling in higher education? American Educational Research Journal, 39(3), 695–724.
Lin, Z., & Nur-Awaleh, M. (2005). An exploration of faculty job satisfaction in American 4-year Universities: Gender, Race and Immigrant status. Paper Presented to International Comparative Education Society (CIES), Stanford University, San Francisco.
Lin, Z., Pearce, R., & Wang, W. (2006). Imported talents: The pivotal role of immigrant intellect in American higher education. In 4th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, January 6–9, 2006, Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Llorente, E. (2003). Coping with the crackdown: Arab and Hispanic immigrants have borne the brunt of tighter immigration policies. Hispanic, 16(11), 12.
Locke, E. (1984). Job satisfaction. In M. Gruneberg & T. Wall (Eds.), Social psychology and organizational behavior. New York: Wiley.
Martinez, R., Hernandez, A., & Aguirre, A. (1993). Latino faculty attitudes toward the workplace. Journal of the Association of Mexican American Educators, Special Theme Edition, 45–52.
McLachlan, Geoffrey J. (2004). Discriminant analysis and statistical pattern recognition. NY: Wiley-Interscience. (Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics).
Middaugh, M. (2001). Understanding faculty productivity: Standards and benchmarks for colleges and universities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miller, D. (1978). Criteria for appointment, promotion, and retention of faculty in graduate social work programs. Journal of Education for Social Work, 14(2), 74–81.
National Science Board. (2006). Science and Engineering Indicators 2006 (Vols. 1 and 2). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.
Nettles, T. M., Perna, L. W., Bradburn E., & Zimbler L. (2000). Salary, promotion, and tenure status of minority and women faculty in U.S. colleges and universities. Washington: Statistical Report, National Center for Education Statistics.
Paden, J., & Singer, P. (2003). America slams the door (on its foot): Washington’s destructive new visa policies. Foreign Affairs, 82(3), 8–14.
Pang, B. C., & Appleton, N. (2004). Higher education as an immigration path for Chinese students and scholars. Qualitative Report, 9(3), 500–527.
Park, S. (1996). Research, teaching, and service: Why shouldn’t women’s work count? Journal of Higher Education, 67(1), 46–84.
Passel, J., & Suro, R. (2005). Rise, peak, and decline: Trends in U.S. immigration 1992–2004. Washington: Pew Hispanic Center.
Rajagopal, I., & Lin, Z. (1996). Hidden careerists in Canadian Universities. Higher Education, 24, 247–266.
Reys, R. E. (2000). Doctorates in mathematics education—An acute shortage. Notices of the AMS, 47(10), 1267–1270.
Richmond, A. H. (1988). Immigration and ethnic conflict. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Schuster, J. K., & Finkelstein, M. J. (2006). The American faculty: The restructuring of academic works and careers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Seipel, M. (2003). Assessing publication for tenure. Journal of Social Work Education, 39(1), 79–88.
Skolnik, M. (2000). Does counting publications provide any useful information about academic performance? Teacher Education Quarterly, 27(2), 15–25.
Spooner, M., Spooner, F., Karvonen, M., & Algozzine, B. (2002). Contributing to the profession in meaningful ways. Action in Teacher Education, 24(3), 10–19.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). The foreign born population in the United States: 2003. Washington DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
van Tuberqen, F., Flap, H., & Maas, I. (2004). The economic incorporation of immigrants in 18 Western societies: Origin, destination, and community effects. American Sociological Review, 69(5), 704–727.
Vecoli, R. (1996). The significance of immigration in the formation of an American identity. The History Teacher, 30(1), 9–27.
Weaver, P. (1989). Job satisfaction level of marketing faculty. Journal of Marketing Education, 11(2), 10–16.
Zinn, H. (2003). A people’s history of the United States: 1492–Present (perennial classics). New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Appendix A: Linear regressions
Appendix B: Dummy variables
Appendix C: Classification of field of teaching and research
About this article
Cite this article
Lin, Z., Pearce, R. & Wang, W. Imported talents: demographic characteristics, achievement and job satisfaction of foreign born full time faculty in four-year American colleges. High Educ 57, 703–721 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-008-9171-z