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National survey shows UM faculty focus on teachingPosted on Dec. 8

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More than 200 University of Montana faculty members took part in the national 2004-05 Higher Education Research Institute Survey and the results show that teaching is a primary value and focus at UM.

Ninety percent of UM faculty members reported teaching is their principal activity compared to 75.4 percent at other public universities.

UM faculty members emphasize as primary goals for undergraduates to develop abilities to think critically, promote writing abilities and prepare students for employment.

More than 90 percent of UM faculty members said promoting students' effective writing ability is a very important or essential goal. Many expressed a concern about the lack of basic preparedness of undergraduate students.

The survey also showed that UM faculty members value engagement with students, overwhelmingly reporting the University is an easy place for students to meet with faculty, where faculty care about students and where faculty respect one another.

Diversity also is an important focus at UM. Ninety-four percent of the responding faculty members said a diverse student body enhances the educational experience for all students. More than half place the promotion of racial understanding high on their list of personal goals.

Community service also scored high among UM faculty members. They list community service as an important goal for themselves and for their students.

The survey indicated that participating UM faculty members are comparatively less satisfied with their compensation.

Survey results also show that UM faculty members who took part in the survey are comparatively young. Only 14.7 percent received their highest degree before 1976, compared to 38 percent of faculty members at all participating institutions.

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