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Ed.D. Alumnus Given National Dissertation Prize

May 31, 2017

This summer, Dr. Alvin C. Merritt Boyd, III ’16 (Ed.D.) will be honored with the Leo and Margaret Goodman-Malamuth Dissertation Award, given by the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA).

Alvin Boyd

Boyd, a graduate of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education’s doctorate in executive leadership program, will be formally presented with the award during the 2017 AAUA Leadership Seminar, held June 8 and 9, in New Orleans. 

Boyd’s dissertation, “Experiences and Perceptions of Full-Time, Non-Tenure Track Faculty at a Four-Year University,” was completed under the guidance of Dr. Shannon Cleverley-Thompson and Dr. James Hurny. His research strived to develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges that full-time, non-tenure track faculty (FTNTTF) members face within higher education.

As a FTNTTF member at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Boyd was curious to see if other FTNTTF share his experiences. His research uncovered five major themes: (1) socialization as support, trust, and acceptance; (2) it’s like being a second-class citizen; (3) the workhorse carries a heavy load, but it’s worth it; (4) what’s your niche? To make myself needed; and (5) moving forward with an unclear path.

“This work is a contribution to understanding a group that is growing to ever-greater importance in American higher education,” said Dr. Jerry Neuner, AAUA awards chairperson. “In many places, because of financial concerns, the declining power of faculty in governance, and the wishes of boards or external funders, tenure has become rarer or even non-existent.” 

Boyd hopes that both faculty and administrators will use his research to provide better job security, enhanced leadership training and professional development, further inclusion in department and campus-wide decision-making, and heightened awareness of the work done by this unique population.

“Learning about the experiences of FTNTTF with career longevity and career advancement can be advantageous to college and university administrators to develop better policies and practices for those faculty,” he said. “Offering professional development funds, equitable salary and benefits, recognition awards, full inclusion in academic division and university governance, and new faculty orientation to lecturers may aid in the socialization of FTNTTF.”

In addition to the award from AAUA, Boyd was also given the Exemplary Performance in Scholarship Award from the School of Education. The complete text of Boyd’s dissertation can be found through Lavery Library at