Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


In response to the need for further research on faculty selection and promotion decisions, this study examined the most controversial issue involved in such decision-making: faculty inbreeding. Based on an analysis of the conditions of the current academic labor market and an exhaustive review of relevant literature, the study posed this major research question, "Should selective faculty inbreeding have a legitimate place within the system of higher education"?;This study is important because its findings are of value to several higher education constituents: (1) institutional and governmental policy-makers who are interested in preparing for possible upcoming faculty shortages, (2) deans and department chairs who are interested in strengthening the quality of their academic programs and in enhancing the image of their departments, and (3) graduate students who aspire to an academic career;The data for this study were collected from department chairs at 11 established land-grant universities across the country. A cross-sectional survey instrument was developed and sent to 355 randomly selected participants to solicit their perceptions on a broad array of dependent variables regarding faculty inbreeding. Both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were employed to test 12 research questions and 11 hypotheses;The results of the analyses suggested that selective faculty inbreeding be given a rightful place in higher education: Even though significant differences were found in the acceptance of such a practice by inbred and non-inbred department chairs, the majority of them expressed strong support. The extent of faculty inbreeding varied significantly according to the developmental stages of departments and the types of academic disciplines. Findings from this study also indicated that department chairs with different lengths of service perceived no significant differences in the scholarly productivity, chance for academic advancement, and role orientations of inbred faculty as compared with those of non-inbred faculty.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Shouan Pan



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

163 pages