John Ellis Price, the founding president of UNT-Dallas, made precisely zero friends among the school's faculty two years ago when he fired every one of them. That was when the school officially spun off from UNT in Denton and established itself as a separate entity, which Ellis said meant faculty needed to reapply for their positions. Ellis reversed the decision two months later, but the damage was done.
Relations, apparently, still haven't healed. We recently reported that a faculty panel had panned a consultant's vision for a New University Model, but a couple of Friends of Unfair Park mentioned that it goes deeper, pointing to a faculty satisfaction survey conducted the school conducted in February. A questionnaire was sent to all 108 full-time and adjunct faculty, with about half completing it, and included a range of questions, from the qualifications of fellow faculty members to safety to administration. It did not go well.
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Faculty and safety get high marks, but that's about all. Fewer than half of the respondents, 42 percent, agreed that UNT-Dallas is a good place to work, and the numbers get worse from there.
The administration fares particularly badly. Only 24 percent are satisfied with the administration's receptiveness. On accountability, the number is 22 percent. The faculty's faith in the administration's decision-making? Just 18 percent were satisfied. There are similarly low marks for how well the school hews to its "core values" of civility, virtue, reasoning, and accountability, none of which scores better than 34 percent.
The results don't seem to bode well for the university. It's the quality of research and instruction that make a school successful, and if faculty are as deeply dissatisfied as the survey results indicate, there's no way that doesn't suffer.