The University of Denver was changing on several fronts at the start of their partnership with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). A new vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion was coming on board, a new initiative on community and values needed information to guide it, and concerns about the departmental decision-making processes were awaiting a solution.
By adapting COACHE’s Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey with carefully tailored custom questions, DU’s leaders realized that one tool could in fact support many changes.
Mid-career faculty members often seek to advance to the highest faculty rank of full professor, but research suggests women and Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color (BIPOC) faculty face inequitable patterns in advancement to the full professor rank. This study focuses on associate professors’ perceptions of promotion clarity, or the degree to which they are clear about the processes and criteria for advancing to the full professor rank.
Voluntary faculty departures can often be prevented, but a lack of common exit procedures have hindered institutions’ ability to create proactive practices of faculty retention and instead harbor reactive tendencies with little positive outcome. Through interviews with 22 CAOs at liberal arts colleges, Patrick D. Reynolds, former Visiting Practitioner to COACHE, discovered partner employment and career choice were the two most prominent reasons for departures. Outliers also revealed that work and social environments, especially for faculty members of minority groups, often played a role in dissatisfaction.
Georgia State University decided to partner with COACHE after the university’s Commission on the Next Generation of Faculty urged the institution to gather more robust data on diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. The provost’s office made three guarantees to faculty about the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey: the administration wanted to hear from every full-time faculty member, they would not receive data that would allow them to identify any individual faculty member, and they would use the results for campus improvement. This transparancy has already borne fruit. With a higher response rate than peer institutions and a renewed sense of trust, GSU administrators are moving forward in unpacking the results collaboratively with their faculty.
The findings from a series of statistical analyses present compelling evidence that the disruption to campus operations caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2020 impacted faculty perceptions of some aspects of their campus environment. This impact was felt across all institutions that participated in the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey (JSAT) for a subset of JSAT benchmarks and specific items. At the same time, some benchmarks and most items were unaffected. The majority of the benchmarks and items that were impacted concerned leadership, governance, and decision-making. Additional analyses of the differences between benchmark scores with and without the presence of post-disruption responses suggest that the degree of change with the inclusion of post-disruption responses is negligible in practical application and does not warrant additional data cleaning for valid interpretation of report findings.
Using Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data, the purpose of the study is to explore predictors of perceptions of tenure clarity for faculty in STEM and non-STEM fields. We use the gendered organization framework to examine whether for four groups of faculty (women and men in STEM and women and men in non-STEM), assessment of fairness in tenure decisions and evaluations, messages about tenure requirements, mentoring, and relationships with peers have a similar effect on their assessment of tenure clarity. Women in STEM fields are less likely to perceive the expectations for tenure as clear or to assess tenure decisions and evaluations as fair, mentoring as effective, and relationships with peers as satisfactory.
This study examined correlates of work-life balance perceptions for faculty from various marital/relationship and family statuses using data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. We found lower work-life balance among single (rather than married/partnered) faculty. These findings call for colleges and universities to directly address the work-life struggles of single faculty members with and without children. Our findings also underscore the importance of institutional support for making personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible for all faculty.
In 2019, COACHE added a series of questions about disability status to our flagship Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. Two years of data were examined to understand how faculty's experience of the academic workplace might vary depending on their disability type and disclosure status. Review the infographic below to understand how attitudes and disclosure differ across types of disabilities and how administration can create inclusive policies to address these key insights. Click here for an accessible version of the document.
During her first year as provost at The University of North Texas, Jennifer Cowley made an effort to improve data transparency on campus. Alongside an internal platform to provide data to deans and department heads, she partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education to administer the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey and develop a clear sense of faculty needs. Cowley found that the data, as well as collaborative relationships with new colleagues, helped her frame the critical conversations of her first year and identify key areas for change. The university plans to administer the survey every three years to track its progress.
COACHE’s 2019 work focused on two types of faculty members: those who leave and those who lead. This work incorporated a larger number of faculty members than in 2018, with 41 colleges, universities, and specialized programs in the 2019 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey cohort, a total of more than 28,000 faculty participants, and an average institutional response rate of 54 percent.
Institutional reports for the Faculty Retention and Exit Survey indicate why faculty leave—or remain—at their institutions, and where inequities arise in retention negotiations. COACHE’s work also examined how we define faculty leadership, and which faculty leaders—women and humanities faculty among them—are less likely to receive institutional support in sustaining other aspects of their work.
Full-time non-tenure track faculty, commonly referred to as NTT faculty, shoulder much of the teaching load within academic institutions. Self-determination theory (SDT) has shown promise as a conceptual frame for characterizing the relationship between environmental support factors and NTT faculty satisfaction. Full-time NTT faculty were sampled nationwide to investigate an SDT-based model positing basic psychological needs (i.e., volitional autonomy and relatedness) as mediators between six environmental support indices and NTT faculty satisfaction. Structural equation model results showed volitional autonomy and relatedness fully mediated the relationships between the six environmental supports and both indices of faculty satisfaction.
According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), approximately 40% of all faculty across all institutional types are now part-time. This subset of adjunct faculty is fulfilling a critical role in the higher education landscape, yet the variability of these appointments makes it exceedingly difficult to assess their needs and, ultimately, provide adequate support.
In 2017, COACHE partners at the University at Buffalo set out to address this knowledge gap by adapting the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to suit the needs of their part-time faculty. In this webinar, Robert Granfield and Tilman Baumstark will share the challenges faced and lessons learned, both from their methodology and from their faculty, throughout this endeavor.
In conjunction with the AAC&U Annual Meeting, COACHE is providing access to digital spreadsheets summarizing results from its Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, including responses from approximately 43,000 faculty at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. COACHE Summary Tables 2019 provides responses organized by major Carnegie Classification and disciplinary groups, then by faculty rank (and tenure status), race/ethnicity, or gender. The following tables were extracted from COACHE Summary Tables 2019 for use in our discussion.
These summary tables include data from the 2019 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, focusing on the faculty workplace experience, with data presented by institution type, discipline, rank (with tenure status), race/ethnicity, and gender. Survey dimensions shown in the summary tables include questions about the nature of faculty work, facilities and family resources, interdisciplinary work, tenure clarity, promotion, and shared governance.
In 2018, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education collaborated with the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE) to launch the first ever Seminar on Leadership of the Faculty, a three-day workshop for academic leadership. An introduction between Harvard Club of New York, HIHE, and COACHE partners in the CUNY system led to a $100,000 grant for CUNY to invest in developing diverse faculty leadership. Data from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey yielded an exploration of mid-career faculty, an ongoing pursuit to prevent mid-career malaise and provide support. The Faculty Retention and Exit Survey revealed the risk that a “counteroffer culture” poses to faculties’ home institutions during salary negotiations. Finally, an overhaul of our data dissemination process has made it easier for researchers to access our data in order to implement institutional changes.
Perceptions of work–family balance and of the reasonableness of tenure expectations are key faculty retention factors. Using the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, which includes data from 2,438 tenure-track assistant professors, Rodica Lisnic, Anna Zajicek, andBrinck Kerr explore whether faculty assessment of departmental and institutional support for family influences their perceptions of the reasonableness of tenure expectations.
Results reveal that women are less likely than men to report tenure expectations as scholars are reasonable and that departments and institutions are supportive of family-work balance. Departmental support for family-work balance, caring for an ill family member, satisfaction with family-friendly policies, and workload have the strongest association with reasonableness. Satisfaction with family-friendly policies has a significant relationship with reasonableness of tenure expectations only for faculty with family care responsibilities. These results have implications for family-friendly policies and practices in academia.
This study examines predictors of perceived work-life balance among women and men faculty of color using data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). Asian American men faculty report higher perceived work-life balance, while African American women faculty report lower perceived work-life balance as compared to other faculty members. Findings from multivariate analyses show that the strongest, most consistent positive predictor of perceived work-life balance was the faculty perception that the institution does what it can to make personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible. The findings offer important implications for institutional and departmental climate and policy.
Faculty members seek employment in an environment that offers good fit and work satisfaction. This study examined faculty satisfaction by institution type (baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and research) for recent full-time faculty members in 100 4-year institutions in the United States.
Analysis of the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey showed that respondents in baccalaureate colleges reported the highest satisfaction. Subsequent analyses to examine strength of difference across institutional type confirmed initial differences for some facets of satisfaction, but not for others. Results showed that faculty perceptions of the institutional environment firmly contribute to their satisfaction. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for policies and programs.
There is renewed interest in shared governance in American higher education. This evidence-based, exploratory study of faculty leadership identifies promising practices for shared stewardship and provides follow-up questions for senior leaders to assess the state of faculty leadership and shared governance on their own campuses. The findings are based on interviews with chief academic officers or faculty officers and chief elected faculty leaders at baccalaureate, masters, and research institutions identified as exemplars through the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. The author argues for an expansive view of faculty leadership as a key component of institutional resilience.
In response to recent research on the well-being of higher education faculty, which has lacked a theoretical model, this study used self-determination theory to model the well-being of 581 tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members at a large midwestern university. The study looked at the relationships between environmental factors (e.g., administrative support, research support, promotion and tenure support) and faculty well-being (i.e., teaching/service satisfaction and global satisfaction), hypothesizing that volitional autonomy, perceived competence, and perceived relatedness would partially mediate these relationships. Results of path analysis indicated that all relations between the environment and teaching/service satisfaction were fully mediated by volitional autonomy and perceived competence, whereas all relations between the environment and global satisfaction were partially mediated by perceived relatedness. These findings highlight that psychological needs are central in understanding the relations between the environment and faculty well-being. The study discusses additional implications and future directions for research.