As a research-practice partnership, COACHE works to advance scholarship on the professoriate, academic culture, diversity and equity, and related faculty issues. We accomplish this goal by selectively sharing our survey data with established scholars and their doctoral students, many of whom have published journal articles, books and dissertations analyzing COACHE data. With more than a decade passing since Congress has funded a National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty, COACHE data has become an increasingly valuable tool to understanding full-time postsecondary faculty in the U.S.
Important Information about COACHE Data
If you are a researcher interested in using a COACHE dataset, please acquaint yourself with the options, as well as the opportunities and limitations, of our data.
We currently have three data sets available to qualified researchers:
Pre-tenure Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey (2005 to 2010)
For six years, COACHE surveyed only full-time, pre-tenure faculty at four-year colleges and universities. The questions were tailored to their perspectives on tenure (clarity, reasonableness); the nature of their work (research, teaching, service, support); policies and practices (importance, effectiveness); climate, culture, collegiality; and global satisfaction. The dataset includes information on 16,157 respondents and 11,169 nonrespondents for an overall response rate of 59.1%.
Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey (2011 to present)
Since 2011, COACHE’s updated instrument includes both pre-tenure and tenured faculty at four- and two-year institutions. Many institutions opt to include full-time, non-tenure-track faculty in their survey administration. Since 2014, records have been coded to allow for longitudinal analysis at the unit level at repeat institutions. In total, the dataset includes information on approximately 89,000 respondents and 89,100 nonrespondents for an overall response rate of 50.2%.
Faculty Retention & Exit Survey (2016 to present)
In 2016, COACHE launched a new study of faculty who departed their universities (“exits”) and of faculty who, as a result of some administrative action, decided to remain at their institutions (“retentions”). The pilot year included six R1 institutions; by 2017, over twenty R1 and R2 universities were engaged. Access to these data is not available to most researchers, but may become available at a later date.
Opportunities and Limitations of COACHE Datasets
Prospective COACHE researchers should be aware of both the opportunities and the limitations of our data.
Some of the opportunities:
- Our datasets include many variables provided by institutions for all records--respondents and nonrespondents. These include gender, race/ethnicity, academic area, rank, and tenure status, and for some datasets, US citizenship, CIP, year of hire, and year of last appointment. These data can be essential for statistical weighting techniques that might be necessary in your analysis.
- COACHE is a census, not a sample, so we have near-complete representation of every pre-tenure and/or tenured faculty member at participating institutions.
- Most institutions in our dataset, especially since 2011, have administered a COACHE survey more than once, offering researchers the capacity for longitudinal analysis at the institutional and, sometimes, unit level.
Some of the limitations:
- Institutions are not randomly included in COACHE. Their presidents and provosts elect to join the project at a not-insignificant cost. This results in a dataset that is not as a whole representative of faculty profiles across U.S. higher education.
- Faculty are not randomly selected to participate. All eligible faculty are invited to respond.
- The data exclude faculty in their first year of employment at an institution and those who are in their terminal year after being denied tenure.
- COACHE data does not (yet) include part-time/adjunct faculty.
- We cannot deliver information in our dataset that identifies individual faculty (because of IRB requirements) nor individual institutions (because of contractual agreements with them).
The codebook you receive in the first step of the data request process is not a perfect representation of our dataset. Some variables were not gathered in some years, and institutional participation varied greatly from year to year. For example, not until 2014 did COACHE expand to include community colleges, and only two systems of community colleges have participated.