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The Motivations Behind Criminology Academe

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

In every profession, motivation is a keystone ingredient for producing exceptional output and fulfilled employees. When we enjoy our work and find it meaningful for both ourselves and others, we strive to achieve more. Another crucial aspect is that our work provides enough financial support to address not only necessities but an agreeable lifestyle as well. For the field of teaching, it is especially important to assess what instructors require to meet their motivational needs because of how influential and vital they are to perpetuate a healthy community. Without good teachers, the next generation misses out on guidance, useful knowledge, and emotional support through their educational journey. Professors have a highly demanding job with a great deal of expectations from students, parents, and the university. Unfortunately, when a professor faces repetitive and avoidable frustrations, a depression is likely to occur and affect the quality of their performance, which in turn affects students.

Sir Bimboy Cueno, dean of the College of Criminology, undertook an extensive research study throughout four cities of Negros Oriental where schools offer criminology programs. He wanted to determine whether or not the motivational needs were being met for criminology professors and which factors influenced them. In his abstract, several “criminologist professors (especially those in part-time and probationary statuses) faced low salary grade, delayed monthly wages, unjustifiable policies, insecurity of tenure, and a lack of necessary amenities to augment an efficient working environment.” These unacceptable dynamics have led to a shortage in qualified criminology instructors due to the fact that most criminology graduates elect to join a police force instead of academe. Furthermore, “Criminologists in the teaching profession also often experienced problems attaining regular/tenured employment status” and “argue that their existing salary structure, benefits and working conditions do not satisfy their basic needs.” Sir Bimboy surveyed criminologist professors that were not connected to any private job nor have any part of the PNP, AFP, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, or any law enforcement agency.

In order to determine a correlation between motivational needs being met and what factors contribute to said needs, Sir Bimboy created a questionnaire that consisted of two parts; the first consisted of personal information (e.g. gender, age, marital status, highest educational attainment, years in service, trainings/seminars attended, and employment status) whereas the second asked respondents the degree of motivation in several areas. These areas included growth and advancement, the work itself, responsibilities, achievements, recognitions, and financial aspects of salary, honorariums, and other benefits. Naturally all participants received complete anonymity and confidentiality with their answers.

Contrary to what Sir Bimboy was led to believe, the results in his research was counter-intuitive. The majority of criminology professors turned out to be male, married, and between the ages of 30-39 with masters degrees. They were somewhere between their sixth and tenth year of service on a tenure track. As it turned out, most professors reported a very high degree of motivation for learning new skills, advancing their occupational specialty, and promoting personal and professional growth. “Completing a job, solving problems, and seeing the results of one’s efforts” are pivotal characteristics required to nurture the motivation within a criminology professor. And of course, money talks. The more satisfied a professor is with their salary, the better their work performance becomes. There was a slight relationship between age and motivation as well; however, this result requires more research to garner why this is.

It was an eye-opening and uplifting outcome to see that many criminology professors’ motivational needs are being met despite current circumstances. We want what’s best for our students that will one day protect our community and country as well as keep the peace. Universities across the nation must prioritize the needs of their professors in order to maintain assurance of a high quality education. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Taking care of our criminology professors means taking care of our country’s harmony.


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