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The Retention of Experienced Faculty in Online Distance Education Programs: Understanding Factors that Impact their Involvement

  • Tim Green California State University, Fullerton
  • Jeffery Alejandro East Carolina University
  • Abbie H. Brown East Carolina University
Keywords: Online distance education administration, faculty retention, strategies for retaining faculty


The study sought to determine factors that affect faculty decisions regarding their involvement in teaching online distance education courses. A survey was administered to online distance education faculty across the United States to determine those factors that encourage or discourage them from continuing to teach online courses. The factors were examined and reported from the standpoint of each of four faculty groups: (1) tenured, (2) tenure-track, (3) full-time non-tenured/fixed term, and (4) part-time/adjunct. From the survey responses (N = 135), a list of retention strategies that university administrators may use for retention of online distance education faculty are offered.

Author Biographies

Tim Green, California State University, Fullerton
Associate Professor of Educational Technology Department of Elementary Education
Jeffery Alejandro, East Carolina University
Dr. Jeffery Alejandro has worked in adult education for 15 years, higher education for 13, and distance education for 10. Currently, he is a coordinator with the Division of Continuing Studies at East Carolina University, where he designs and oversees online programs. He also teaches online graduate classes for various universities. Aside from being an online instructor and distance education administrator, he has also been an online student. Dr. Alejandro has a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership, Masters of Art in Education in Adult Education, and graduate certificate in Distance Education. He has published and made presentations on leadership, adult education, distance education, instructional technology, and higher education administration.
Abbie H. Brown, East Carolina University
Abbie Brown, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education at East Carolina University and coordinator of the university's Certificate in Distance Learning program.
How to Cite
Green, T., Alejandro, J., & Brown, A. H. (2009). The Retention of Experienced Faculty in Online Distance Education Programs: Understanding Factors that Impact their Involvement. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(3).
Research Articles