Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Beach


This study examined the job satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and attrition (intent to leave their position within the next twelve months) of mid-level managers in student affairs administration using Herzberg's (1966) Motivation-Hygiene Theory.

A purposive sample of 1943 mid-level managers from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) was sent an invitation to take a Web-based survey. Four hundred seventy seven responses were received. Statistics were calculated for the demographic variables of age, education, gender, ethnic background, degree level and currently pursuing a degree, functional area(s) of the mid-level manager, supervision, Carnegie classification, student enrollment, institutional type, and career tenure in the student affairs field and tenure in the mid-level manager's current position, job satisfaction, job dissatisfaction, and attrition. Participants were grouped in functional role categories to calculate regression analyses between the demographic variables and intent to leave their current position. Following the statistics, qualitative comments were also taken from the survey respondents.

It was found that mid-level managers in student affairs were satisfied with their positions; demographic variables accounted for a small extent of the job satisfaction; intrinsic variables and extrinsic variables were moderately significant for job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction respectively; and thecombination of intrinsic, extrinsic factors with age and race were significant factors in determining attrition of mid-level managers in student affairs. Upon further investigation, it was found that professionals from 20--30 years of age and African American and Hispanics/Latinos were more likely to attrite from their positions as mid-level managers in student affairs. Issues of supervision, relationships with colleagues, politics, and work balance were also factors that led tothe job dissatisfaction of the sample and attrition of the sample. Finally, a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors led to the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction of study's sample.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access