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Saturday, January 28, 2023

A recent survey of UF faculty members shows most feel positively about their working relationships.

In the 2007 UF faculty survey, 55 percent of UF professors rated their working relationships as positive at UF. The Levin College of Law and the College of Nursing were the extreme outliers, with only 35 percent of law faculty rated their working relationships as positive while 82 percent of the nursing faculty responded positively.

Danaya Wright, an associate professor at the law school, said she thinks the results can be attributed to problems the department has faced with hiring faculty members.

"We make three or four offers and only one person comes," she said.

Because law schools hire faculty differently than other colleges, it has contributed to much of the trouble within the college, Wright said.

A general pool of the eligible law professors for hire in the United States is sent out to most law schools. From there, law schools solicit professors from across the country and attempt to lure the most qualified candidates to their programs.

"We're sitting here in Gainesville, in the south, and we're fighting, but no one is coming," Wright said.

This problem has caused law students to complain about availability of classes, which Wright said has put a strain on the college as a whole.

Law school faculty and the dean are aware of problems with hiring and the low morale it has caused. She said it was addressed last spring during a faculty retreat.

"We have very honest disagreements about resource allocation and faculty hiring," Wright said.

Sandra Seymour, a nursing professor, said she thinks the reason the faculty survey had such a positive response about work relationships is the college's structure of shared governance.

"We're not isolated," she said. "We have a culture where we work together."

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One of the reasons the faculty are so content is through the efforts of their dean, Seymour said. Nursing dean Kathleen Ann Long ensures any issues within the college are transparent and open for discussion.

"It's certainly a positive when it comes to recruitment," she said.

Even with the shortage of nurses across the nation, she said UF's College of Nursing has no vacancies. Every position is full.

"It speaks a lot, I think, for us," Seymour said

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