# FAQ

If you are a faculty member who has been invited to complete a COACHE survey, please visit our faculty-specific FAQ.

### General FAQ

What is COACHE?

The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education is a research-practice partnership based in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. COACHE studies the work lives of faculty with a focus on actionable data to support academic administrators. Studies are conducted in partnership with college and university leaders (both faculty and administrative) with an emphasis on using the data collected to improve the academic workplace.

What is a research-practice partnership?

A research-practice partnership (RPP) is an organization that convenes researchers studying a particular problem with practitioners who co-investigate a topic in a way that is methodologically rigorous but also practitioner focused. RPPs are becoming increasingly important in education where the gap between scholarly work and educational professionals can be significant. To learn more about RPPs visit the William T Grant Foundation.

Why does COACHE only study faculty?

Faculty are the heart of every college and university. Their commitment and relationship to their institution is distinctive from other types of employees as well as students. In many cases, they will work at an institution for their entire professional career. Also, because of their shared governance responsibilities, the relationship between faculty and administration can be difficult to manage. In those ways, a typical workplace survey would never fully address the needs of the faculty. COACHE believes this so strongly that as an organization, we have decided not to survey other constituent groups in higher education.

Why should I join COACHE when I can just administer my own survey?

Academic Affairs and Institutional Researchers are being pulled in so many directions that taking the time to develop and execute a robust survey about the faculty workplace could take months of staff and faculty time. COACHE also provides robust comparative data in its reporting and analytics including the option to self-select five peer comparison institutions. Our robust reporting platform provides powerful diagnostics which are intuitive and professional. Most importantly, COACHE continues to work with partners for two years after data collection to interpret results, disseminate the findings, and develop policy solutions.

Can I see a copy of the surveys?

Please write to us at coache@gse.harvard.edu to request a PDF copy of our surveys to review.

### Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey

Why should my institution participate in the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey?

Institutions become members of COACHE for a whole host of reasons but here are just a few to consider:

• To get a better sense of faculty perceptions of the workplace relative to the national labor market.
• To support the accreditation process
• As an assessment for an NSF grant
• As part of a strategic planning process
• To provide incoming leadership with some sense of faculty dispositions

Is this a climate survey?

Workplace climate studies typically focus on experiences and perceptions of underrepresented groups on campus. Climate surveys can be powerful but COACHE takes a different approach to its work. The Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey assess the academic workplace broadly and then, uses the disaggregation of the results to raise questions about the workplace climate. We find this approach generates a broader level of engagement from the campus both in survey participation and in the work that comes after the results are delivered. Bringing more constituents to the table means that COACHE results can have a greater impact on issues of workplace climate and diversity.

How is the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey different from other workplace surveys?

COACHE’s Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey is distinctive to the work of faculty which allows it to dive deeper into the issues that matter most to faculty. Support for teaching, research and service, shared governance, and appreciation and recognition for work are just some of the topics covered in the instrument. The survey is designed pragmatically. Every question links to practical campus issues.

What policies and practices could better faculty workplace data inform?

As a broad omnibus survey, the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey assess a range of topics. That means the results can inform an entire suite of different and better practices. To see what some of our partners have done with COACHE results, look at our partners page.

Who is eligible to take the survey?

The instrument is designed to assess the experiences of all full-time faculty. Because part-time faculty are an increasingly important area of study, we believe that a distinctive instrument is warranted. Because the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey looks at all ranks, and appointment types, the survey has specific adaptive branching for each population.

What is required to participate?

Your institution will be asked to provide an Excel or SPSS file containing information on the faculty and who are eligible to participate in your institution’s survey. Take note: these data are not merely names and e-mail addresses, but an array of variables that will allow for robust analysis. All information will be transferred using our secure file-sharing portal that meets the standards of protection for “Level 3 High-Risk Confidential Information,” as directed by Harvard University’s Committee on the Use of Human Subjects. Once your CAO (or other designee) sends these faculty a message announcing your work with COACHE, our team handles the rest.

Who on my campus should be responsible?

We believe that working with a team is an effective strategy for deploying the survey and ensuring that the data are put to good use after the results are in your hand. Teams need a variety of skills and capabilities but as a general rule, we encourage teams to include a designee from the CAO Office, Institutional Research Office, and representative from faculty leadership. Other institutions include communications staff as well.

What is the timeline for participating?

Survey administration begins in February each year, but preparations begin in the fall. Typically, the survey closes in April and reports are delivered in the summer.

When do I see the results, and in what format?

Results are delivered in two formats. A summary PDF report looks at high level results and global questions. A full digital report disaggregates results by race, gender, rank, tenure status, and discipline.

How much does the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey cost?