Tenure and turnover of academics in six undergraduate programs in the United States

Yuret T.

SCIENTOMETRICS, vol.116, no.1, pp.101-124, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 116 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11192-018-2742-6
  • Journal Name: SCIENTOMETRICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.101-124
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The mobility of faculty members in different undergraduate programs is influenced by different factors, and so inter-program variability can be expected in mobility rates. This study makes use of course catalogs for the collection of data related to the tenure and turnover of academics from six undergraduate programs in the United States. Included in the study are 34 universities ranked in the top 100 US universities according to USNews for which a minimum of 15 years of course catalogs are available. For the study, 1345 course catalogs were used to attain information about 19,353 faculty members. It was found that economics faculty members have the shortest average tenure and economics programs have the highest turnover among all six programs, while physics and chemistry are the least mobile programs. The other three programs-history, mathematics and political science-fall somewhere in between. Private and high ranking universities are less mobile than public and low ranking universities respectively. It is found that turnover rates fell and average tenures increased after the 1970s.