Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey


Based on scholarly literature, interviews with faculty, and focus groups with senior academic administrators, the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey is the benchmarking instrument preferred by college and university leaders who expect action from their data. We tested the survey's validity through cognitive testing with diverse faculty at various institutional types so that we could deliver an adaptive tool that is personalized by institution, rank, tenure status, and other important demographic factors. Following a three-year pilot, COACHE delivered its first reports in 2006, then completed a major update in 2011.

The survey themes reflecting our findings about the faculty experience, including:

Nature of the Work: Shared Governance: Appreciation & Recognition
  - Teaching   - Trust Retention & Negotiations
  - Research   - Shared Sense of Purpose The Department:
  - Service   - Understanding Issues at Hand   - Engagement
Tenure & Promotion   - Adaptability   - Collegiality
Interdisciplinary Work   - Productivity   - Quality
Personal & Family Policies Leadership: Clinical Work (if applicable)
Health & Retirement Benefits   - Senior Global Satisfaction
Facilities & Work Resources   - Divisional Custom Questions (optional)
Collaboration   - Departmental  
Mentoring   - Faculty  

Institutional response rates vary by Carnegie Classification; by the proportion of tenured, pre-tenure, and non-tenure-track faculty in the eligible population; and by their leaders' level of commitment to COACHE. Overall, we typically see response rates in the 50% to 80% range, not in the 30% to 50% range. Most faculty complete the survey is under 25 minutes, and of those who start, 90% go on to complete the questionnaire.

The survey gathers data along these themes to help participating academic leaders understand:

  • How do faculty of different career stages experience academic work life at my institution?
  • How do their experiences compare to those of faculty at peer institutions?
  • Do their experiences differ by rank, tenure status, discipline, gender, or race/ethnicity?
  • What policies or practices are associated with high levels of faculty satisfaction and vitality?