Does this sound like you?

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgIn my inbox this afternoon:

We are requesting your help in identifying participants for a study that we are conducting at Rice University. Essentially, we are trying to identify ANY faculty who have voluntarily left one academic job for another job (either academic or nonacademic).

Who fits in this criteria?

  • Any faculty member who was in an academic position but left academics altogether.
  • Any faculty member who left a research institution for a teaching institution.
  • Any faculty member who left a teaching institution for a research university.
  • Any faculty member who left a teaching or research university to go to a different and/or comparable university.

We are trying to get as diverse a sample as possible, so we are hopeful you might know folks who fit into each and all of these categories. We also want to let you know that we have already contacted faculty who have departed Rice voluntarily. The faculty who are currently at Rice, who left other schools, have not yet been contacted, so if you know these people, they would certainly fit into our criteria although we are eager to get as diverse a sample (and those not necessarily connected to Rice) as possible.

Why are we trying to identify these participants?

As you might (or may not know), we are currently conducting a study at Rice University that examines patterns and trends in faculty turnover. This research is part of the ADVANCE grant and we are trying to examine, in particular, if there may be differences in the reasons that men and women leave academic institutions. Because we are trying to understand the full spectrum of faculty turnover we are interested in those who left for completely personal (non-university related) reasons as well as those who left for organizational reasons.

What can you do to help?

What you could do is to specifically email your faculty friends and invite them to participate. We find that personalizing emails to the people you know offers the best chance of them responding. For ease of helping us, we will include a sample email that you could simply personalize and forward below.

Thank you for potentially being willing to forward this to your friends and contacts!

Mikki Hebl, Director of Faculty Turnover Study
Larry Martinez and Katie Bachman, Co-Assistants of Faculty Turnover Study

They didn’t actually include additional information I could include in an email, but there was this person’s email at the bottom, who I presume you could contact for more information:

Jan Rinehart
Executive Director Advance Program
PO Box 1892-MS 102
Rice University
Houston, Texas 77251-1892


  1. #1 John McKay
    August 20, 2008

    Any faculty member who was in an academic position but left academics altogether.

    How can you be a faculty member who has left academics altogether. Is there such a thing as non-academic faculty? Is that what they call the business school at Rice?

  2. #2 ScienceWoman
    August 20, 2008

    Maybe they mean people who were faculty members before they left academics. I doubt they’d call business school faculty non-academic.

    In any case, it’s great that such a study is being done. Hopefully we’ll hear about the results in a couple of years.

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