AuthorRoe, Cristie Elaine
AdvisorLevin, John S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the 2001-02 academic year, I investigated the impact of information technology on community college faculty at a large, multi-campus community college district in the southwest. My purpose of this study was to determine how technological innovation on their campuses was affecting the working conditions of faculty since these conditions ultimately affect the ability of faculty to provide effective instruction for their students. Using a grounded theory and phenomenological approach, I analyzed data collected through interviewing faculty in three community colleges, examining email communication and online documents from four colleges and the college district, and attending two technology conferences for employees in the college district. While a number of studies have been conducted in recent years on technology's impact on labor, few of these studies have addressed the impact of technology in higher education, with fewer still examining the effects of technology on community college personnel, despite the rapid proliferation of technology on community college campuses. Therefore, drawing on research conducted in business and industry as well as in higher education settings, I sought to ascertain whether technological innovations enskill or deskill faculty (Vallas, 1993), or promote managerial extension of power (Rhoades, 1998), whether each college or the college district rewards or penalizes faculty for their eagerness or reluctance to adopt new technologies (Rogers, 1983), and whether the technologies purchased by community colleges impact faculty working conditions by altering the environments in which the technologies are used (Winner, 1986). The most salient findings of this study included the offsetting advantages and disadvantages to technology usage which result in detriments and benefits to the work of faculty increasing simultaneously, and the impact on the work environment of the technologies themselves due to their intrinsic characteristics. The conclusions are both striking and powerful enough to warrant further investigation into the ramifications of technology proliferation within the community college sector in order to determine whether the anticipated benefits of technological innovation to community college education do, in fact, outweigh the problems connected to technology.
Degree ProgramGraduate College