COACHE recognizes member campuses with highest levels of pre-tenure faculty job satisfaction

November 15, 2010

Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) today released the names of its member colleges and universities with the highest levels of pre-tenure faculty job satisfaction.

Data from COACHE’s Tenure-Track Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey reveal some colleges and universities as “exemplary” on key dimensions of the work experiences of early-career faculty. The assessment considers the same benchmark dimensions used in COACHE’s institutional reports: tenure practices; the clarity of institutional expectations for tenure; the nature of faculty work overall, in research, and in teaching; work and home balance and supports; climate, culture, and collegiality; and global satisfaction.

In order to qualify as an “exemplar,” a college or university needed benchmark scores that placed it at the very top of institutions in a similar Carnegie classification.

One institution—the University of Iowa—was exceptional in five out of eight categories. Four institutions (Brown, Duke, and CUNY’s Lehman College and Queens College) were exceptional in four categories, while five more institutions were outstanding in three categories. Of 127 institutions participating in COACHE between 2006 and 2009, a total of 32 institutions were named an exemplar in at least one benchmark dimension. These COACHE members included a mix of private and public institutions of varying missions and financial resources.

“This isn’t a beauty contest with dozens of runners-up, nor are we in the rankings business,” explained Kiernan Mathews, COACHE Director. “Academic leaders at our member institutions request these lists so that they can know to whom to turn about doing something--or several things--right in retaining faculty.”

He continued, “We hope also that COACHE data will help those on the faculty job market to ask better questions of their prospective employers and to find the right fit.”

Mr. Mathews added that the project is expanding to consider the work environments of mid- and late-career faculty, as well. “Making the academy a more attractive place to work is COACHE’s mission,” he said, “and that work won’t stop at pre-tenure faculty.”

The COACHE exemplar list and information about the new tenured faculty survey are freely available for download from the project web site,

Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and supported by member institutions, COACHE gathers peer diagnostic data for chief academic offers to improve the recruitment, retention, and development of faculty at colleges and universities.  For more information about this study or about enrolling a college or university in COACHE, visit

# # #

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kiernan Mathews, COACHE Director, 617-496-9348,; Cathy Trower, Ph.D., Research Director, 617-496-9344,        

coache_exemplarreport_20101115.pdf446 KB