Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


University faculty are charged with three major responsibilities: research, teaching, and service. While universities have developed various strategies to assist faculty in balancing these professional demands, minimal institutional effort has been devoted to nurturing faculty writing, despite the fact that scholarly research productivity is in reality the primary criterion for decisions regarding promotion and tenure. In the last ten years, however, several faculty writing support groups have been instituted to address this aspect of faculty development

This study examined the University of North Dakota Faculty Writing Seminar to determine the effectiveness of the Seminar as a means of increasing scholarly productivity, facilitating instructional improvement and enhancing collegial relationships. Perceptions of the Seminar participants were collected by means of a written questionnaire and focus group interviews. Facilitators of the Seminars were also interviewed. Data from the 47 faculty participants in the study were analyzed pre-Seminar and post-Seminar for the total sample as well as by gender, junior-senior faculty standing, and academic discipline.

The results indicated that participants in the Seminar significantly increased the number of submissions to refereed journals and the number of book contracts anticipated after the Seminar (1995-96). Differences in perceptions between genders, junior and senior faculty, and members of different academic disciplines were noted.

Participants credited the Seminar with increasing their confidence, comfort, and clarity in writing and with inspiring a stronger commitment to setting and meeting deadlines. They identified perfectionism, procrastination, negative self image, poor organization, and heavy teaching and administrative loads as barriers to productivity.

The Seminar provided a model for peer feedback in the classroom, gave participants greater confidence in making and evaluating writing assignments, and increased their tolerance for differences in writing styles across the disciplines. Participants cited the development of collegiality and interdisciplinary faculty contacts as the most valuable aispects of the Seminar.