A new study from the American Association of University Professors shows more than a quarter of public university professors in some states, including Georgia, are considering leaving their jobs.
The study surveyed over 1,500 University System of Georgia professors. Professors at public colleges in North Carolina, Florida, and Texas were also surveyed.
27% of those asked said they planned to apply for teaching jobs outside of their state this year.
Dr. Matthew Boedy helped conduct the study, He’s also a University of North Georgia professor and president of the Georgia American Association of University Professors. Boedy said Georgia’s dissatisfaction numbers were consistent with other states surveyed.
He said salary was the most common reason given for job dissatisfaction.
“We’re doing more with less people here, so we want to be paid for that,” he said. “But also, the other, second-tier issues show us that salary is not a silver bullet.”
Some of the “second tier” reasons for dissatisfaction included political climate, changes to tenure, and concerns about academic freedom.
“There was a chilling effect on their teaching, both from perhaps attacks on DEI, [and] the divisive concepts bill that only affects a certain number of us,” he said. “But generally, they thought that they were being stifled in what is it they could say and teach.”
About 65% of professors surveyed also said they would not recommend the state to colleagues elsewhere.
Boedy said that faculty’s desire to leave could leave lasting impacts on the classroom.
“I think students are going to notice not just missing people but people who don’t want to be there,” he said.