Announcing Upcoming Leadership Changes at the Collaborative

March 25, 2021

Today, we are very happy to announce forthcoming leadership changes at COACHE.

Kiernan MathewsFirst, we want to let you know that after nearly 17 years with the Collaborative, Kiernan Mathews, Ed.D., is stepping down and leaving Harvard in order to lead a new consortium of national research universities committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the American professoriate. Kiernan oversaw COACHE’s transformation into a research practice partnership, launching new leadership development programs and reimagining our engagement with scholarly communities. His vision for a more equitable academic workplace led to new COACHE tools for understanding academic governance and the causes, costs, and conduct of faculty departures and retention actions. Kiernan also expanded COACHE’s scope to include non-tenure-track and community college faculty.

Todd BensonWe are excited to announce that R. Todd Benson, Ed.D., who has been Associate Director of COACHE for 12 years, will assume leadership of the group effective April 1. Todd will work with COACHE’s Faculty Steering Committee to prepare the Collaborative for new leadership while continuing to serve our higher education partners in their equity-minded responses to COACHE indicators of faculty success.

“Todd is uniquely qualified to lead COACHE during this critical transition,” says Monica Higgins, Kathleen McCartney Professor of Education Leadership, and Chair of the COACHE Faculty Steering Committee. “He is a consummate team player who practices the engaged, humble leadership that the Collaborative expects of its partners.”

“Todd will continue to support his talented team and institutional partners while fulfilling COACHE's mission, values and strategy, which remain unchanged,” says Bridget Terry Long, Dean of the Faculty of Education, and Saris Professor of Education and Economics. “We wish Kiernan well in his new endeavor and thank him for the tremendous work COACHE has accomplished during his tenure.”

With this continuity in COACHE’s oversight, researchers and practitioners can continue to expect the care and attention for which COACHE is known. For example:

  • Reports from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey and Faculty Retention & Exit Survey are currently driving equity-minded changes in policies and programs at over 100 universities, colleges, community colleges, and systems of higher education.
  • Faculty- and provost-led "COACHE Teams" around the country are improving the faculty experience, while the Collaborative's signature "high touch" service – from strategy workshops, to confidential consultations, to bespoke analysis – support them along their paths to transformation.
  • Scholars around the world continue to plumb COACHE's dataset for new insights into the faculty experience.
  • Just on the horizon, a new project for university deans will dramatically expand the reach and potential impact of Aware, COACHE's analytics platform.

As COACHE prepares for this new transition, we welcome your perspectives on COACHE, and any notes of farewell for Kiernan or encouragement for Todd, at


The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education