Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning Mississippi education faculty give to the concept of service within their scholarly work and examine the relationship between faculty definitions, reward structures, and service activity. Survey results from 131 faculty members (45% of the sample) and focus group data from a few faculty members at each campus relating to education faculty activities, perceptions, and attitudes were collected and compared with national data. Definitions and typologies of professional service were compared to other state and national data related to professional service, and attempts were made to identify specific performance benchmarks related to service in institutional documents at each of Mississippi's public universities. This investigation confirmed that service as a faculty role is generally neither well defined nor highly values. Other important considerations include: (1) no consistent relationship exists between how faculty define service and how service is defined by the institution; (2) previously generated typologies of service are not a very effective means of characterizing service activities; (3) gender, academic rank, institution, size of institution, and type of institution did not have a significant impact on attitudes toward service; (4) perceptions of service vary significantly by both institution and size of institution; (5) an inverse relationship exists between the relevance of institutional documents and the among of time spent on service activities; and (6) service-related survey data from Mississippi is remarkably consistent with the results of a 1989 national survey of faculty. Ten appendixes provide supplemental information about the study and faculty perceptions.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."