Skidmore College, a liberal arts college in upstate New York, wanted to understand climate and leadership challenges within their academic departments. As faculty groups rarely had the opportunity to collaborate, it became increasingly difficult for faculty and administrators to address shared challenges in a unified manner and arrive at meaningful, campus-wide solutions. In an absence of a common group that could bridge this gap, Skidmore College partnered with the COACHE to conduct the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey on their campus.
The forthcoming book, Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty, offers a unique perspective on how to support mid-career faculty. The book focuses on issues faced by mid-career faculty and examines innovative programs and models that can be used to support their professional development, as well as best practices for effective faculty engagement. COACHE recently hosted a webinar, “Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Mid-Career Faculty”, which discussed the trends and themes around mid-career faculty that were unearthed in the book. Lead editor of the book, Vicki L. Baker; contributing author, Todd Benson; and COACHE partners and faculty development practitioners from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Anne Marie Canale and Cheryl Herdklotz, offered their own insights and perspectives on the issue.
Recently I had the chance to speak with Berit Gundersen at the University of the Pacific. As the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Gundersen lead the initiative to bring the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction survey to the University of the Pacific in 2014. In our discussion, she mentioned that even years later, faculty and administrators are discussing the results - even during a dinner at the President’s home this past spring. It made me wonder what aspects of their approach allowed the work to sustain itself for so long, so Berit and I dug in to try to understand what worked. Some themes began to appear that might be valuable for other institutions that wish to engage their faculty in data driven discussions.
I recently fielded a question from a COACHE partner who wanted to know about institutions doing good work in annual appraisal processes that makes real distinctions in faculty performance. There are effective, developmental, faculty-driven approaches, and COACHE data can be deployed to identify them. At our project, however, we start with frameworks—the four lenses of Reframing Organizations by Bolman and Deal are a favorite device here at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
COACHE spotlights member institutions that are delving into their reports and engaging with their colleagues around disseminating results. This ‘spotlight’ features the University of Toronto. I interviewed Sara-Jane Finlay, Director of the Office of Faculty and Academic Life and Stephannie Roy, Projects Officer in the Office of the Vice Provost, Faculty and Academic Life about their dissemination strategy. So far, they have presented to their Academic Board; President/VPs/Deans; principals/deans/academic directors & chairs; and they post weekly reports and infographics in The Bulletin. You can find more information by clicking here. Their story highlights the importance of timing in attempting to generate an impact on the faculty and faculty leadership.
In 2008, the University at Albany developed a “Tenure Trek” program, aimed at demystifying the tenure process and providing junior faculty with opportunities for collegial discussion with peers, information to help them better understand UAlbany, and strategies for achieving success in teaching, research and service. Events include panel discussions with senior faculty, structured workshops and informal discussions. All pre-tenure academic faculty members are invited to share their own experiences, and to gather insights from others on negotiating the early years of a career at UAlbany.... Read more about Partner Spotlight: The University at Albany’s "Tenure Trek"