Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Recognizing Faculty with Disabilities: Data and Considerations from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey
(2020). Recognizing Faculty with Disabilities: Data and Considerations from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. Download the infographicAbstract
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
Work–Family Balance and Tenure Reasonableness: Gender Differences in Faculty Assessment
Lisnic, R., Zajicek, A., & Kerr, B. (2019). Work–Family Balance and Tenure Reasonableness: Gender Differences in Faculty Assessment. Sociological Spectrum , 39 (5), 340-358. Read the full articleAbstract

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, and Brinck 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.

Personal and Institutional Predictors of Work-Life Balance among Women and Men Faculty of Color
Szelényi, K., & Denson, N. (2019). Personal and Institutional Predictors of Work-Life Balance among Women and Men Faculty of Color. The Review of Higher Education , 43 (2), 633-665. Read the full studyAbstract
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.
Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices
Lisnic, R., Zajicek, A., & Morimoto, S. (2018). Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Read the articleAbstract
The authors look at how the intersection of gender and race influences pre-tenure faculty members’ perceptions of the clarity of tenure expectations. The authors also seek to identify potential predictors (assessment of mentoring, relationships with peers, feedback on progress toward tenure, and fairness in tenure decision making and evaluation) of perceptions of tenure clarity for four intersectionally defined groups, including historically underrepresented minority women (URMW). The authors use an intersectional perspective and the gendered and racialized organizations’ theoretical lens to interpret the results. The data set comes from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. Findings show that compared with white men, URMW are less satisfied with their relationships with peers and with the fairness in the evaluation of their work. They are also less likely to agree that mentoring is effective, that tenure decisions are fair, and that messages about tenure are consistent.
International Faculty Perceptions of Departmental Climate and Workplace Satisfaction
Mamiseishvili, K., & Lee, D. (2018). International Faculty Perceptions of Departmental Climate and Workplace Satisfaction. Innovative Higher Education , 43 (5), 323–338. Read the full studyAbstract

Although the variability in the definitions and immigration status of international academics makes it challenging to provide the exact number of foreign-born faculty members teaching and conducting research in U.S. postsecondary institutions, all data accounts have pointed to a steady growth in this segment of the professoriate. This study used data from the 2011-2014 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to examine international faculty members’ satisfaction with autonomy, interactions with colleagues, departmental climate, and recognition and the effect of these elements upon the overall workplace satisfaction of international faculty members relative to their U.S. citizen peers.

This study helps identify factors that can enhance international faculty members’ satisfaction in order to aid institutions in their efforts not only to recruit the best talent but also to support and retain such talent.


Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College
(2018). Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College. Download the case studyAbstract

Historically, academic departments at Skidmore College operated with large degrees of autonomy from one another. Groups rarely collaborated, which made it difficult for faculty and administrators to address climate and leadership challenges across divisions. In the absence of a centralized group equipped with the tools and resources needed to address these issues, Skidmore partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) and conducted the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to identify ways to improve departmental climates.

Using Skidmore’s survey results as a baseline for their first meeting, the team, which Skidmore leaders dubbed the ‘COACHE Collaborators’, worked together to identify three areas of departmental climate in need of attention: collegiality, diversity and inclusion, and work-life balance.

Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled?
Webber, K. L., & Rogers, S. M. (2018). Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled? Research in Higher Education , 59, 1-28. Read the articleAbstract

Guided by Hagedorn’s (2000) theory of faculty job satisfaction, mindful of social and organizational structures of higher education, and acknowledging recent changes in the academic labor market, this study examines satisfaction for approximately 30,000 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in 100 US colleges and universities. Findings revealed similarity between female and male faculty members in some aspects of work satisfaction, but difference in other areas in which women reported lower satisfaction. Findings also revealed that perceptions of department fit, recognition, work role balance, and mentoring are more important to women faculty’s satisfaction than male peers. These findings have implications for policy and practice.

To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields
Lawrence, J. H., Celis, S., Kim, H. S., Lipson, S. K., & Tong, X. (2014). To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields. Higher Education , 67 (5), 511-531. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The present study identifies characteristics of individuals and work settings that influence Asian international faculty members’ intentions to continue their employment in US research universities. Given the demand for researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (STEM), the higher rate of turnover among untenured faculty, and the replacement costs associated with turnover in STEM, the sample is limited to assistant professors employed in these areas. Multinomial regression analyses identified variables that “pull” and “push” uncertain faculty toward intentions to stay and leave their current institutions. The results suggest that faculty who are more satisfied with time available for research and those who express stronger organizational commitment are more likely to say they will stay. Those dissatisfied with the fairness of work evaluations and those who believe tenure decisions are not merit-based are more likely to say they will leave.

Is the Tenure Process Fair? What Faculty Think
Lawrence, J. H., Celis, S., & Ott, M. (2014). Is the Tenure Process Fair? What Faculty Think. The Journal of Higher Education , 85 (2), 155-188. Read the full articleAbstract

A conceptual framework grounded on procedural justice theory was created to explain how judgments about the fairness of tenure decision-making evolved among faculty who had not yet undergone the review. The framework posits that faculty beliefs about fairness are influenced directly by their workplace experiences and both directly and indirectly by their socio-demographic characteristics.

Structural equation modeling was used to assess the proposed effects with data from 2,247 pre-tenure assistant professors at 21 research universities. The results substantiate the importance of perceived campus and department conditions.

Equitable treatment of junior faculty at the department level and effectiveness of feedback have the strongest relationships with beliefs about the equity of tenure decision-making. An individual’s sense of control during the process of constructing the tenure dossier predicts his or her judgments about the fairness of tenure reviews. Practical suggestions for campus leaders and implications for future research are discussed.


Bouvier, D. L. (2013). The Situational Context of Tenured Female Faculty in the Academy and the Impact of Critical Mass of Tenured Female Faculty on Pre-tenure Faculty Job Satisfaction: A Four Discipline Study. Ohio University. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This research studies the convergence between critical mass, discipline and gender in the academy. Critical mass theory is based on the concept that when a "nonmajority" group reaches a minimal threshold they can generate lasting change within an organization. While women receive doctoral degrees in higher percentages than their male colleagues, they do not ascend the ranks in the same proportions (Touchton, McTighe Musil, & Peltier Campbell, 2008). A critical mass of tenured female faculty has the ability to positively impact the environment for pre-tenure faculty at the departmental level.

The study used data from the 2011-12 COACHE survey of faculty in finance/accounting, management, English and history. A critical mass of tenured female faculty positively impacted environments for pre-tenure females and males in history and females in management. In management departments without a critical mass of tenured female faculty, females were significantly less satisfied while their male colleagues were significantly more satisfied. Further qualitative research is needed to better understand environments using the lenses of critical mass, discipline and gender.

The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty
Kim, D., Wolf-Wendel, L., & Twombly, S. B. (2013). The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education , 6 (4), 245-260. Read the articleAbstract

Using a national database, this study uses discriminant analysis to explore the role of citizenship status in determining intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty members at 4-year research universities. Of the three possible responses (intend to stay, intend to leave, and undecided), two functions emerged. The first function differentiates those who intend to stay from those who intend to leave and those who are undecided. The second function differentiates between those who intend to leave and those who are undecided.

Measures of satisfaction with workplace serve as the primary indicators of function one. Race and citizenship status are the only variables significant for function two. Demographic variables, discipline, salary, and institutional variables are not significant in either function. The variables that are significant for the entire sample are similar to those significant just for non-U.S. citizen faculty. Implications of this study for institutions include attending to departmental and institutional fit, recognition of diversity among non-U.S. citizen faculty, and working toward improving various components of satisfaction.

Young, M. J. (2012). Engineering a place for women: A study of how departmental climate influences the career satisfaction of female mechanical engineering faculty members. Syracuse University. Read the dissertationAbstract

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to better understand how female mechanical engineering faculty members’ career experiences in academia affect their satisfaction. The research considered differences in satisfaction reported by female and male mechanical engineering faculty members in terms of departmental climate, nature of work, resource allocations, departmental policies/practices, and overall satisfaction.

The study compared the levels of satisfaction reported in survey data collected through the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey from 2005-2010. A subset of the survey participants was interviewed to gain nuanced descriptions of faculty member worklife. 

This study identified the role of gendered divisions of labor, gendered divisions of allowed behavior, gendered symbols, and gendered interactions as reasons why female mechanical engineering faculty members are less satisfied with employment in academia than their male colleagues. Recommendations for how mechanical engineering leadership can improve the climate in the department include transparency in decision-making and encouraging senior faculty members to engage in constructive, collaborative research conversations with junior faculty members.

Victorino, C. A. (2012). Examining faculty satisfaction, productivity, and collegiality in higher education: Contemporary contexts and modern methods. University of California, Santa Barbara. Read the dissertationAbstract

In response to discourse surrounding faculty accountability and diversity, this dissertation describes three studies of faculty satisfaction, productivity, and collegiality in higher education. The studies employed advanced quantitative methods to analyze and interpret faculty data at four-year colleges and universities.

The first study revealed a strong, positive, and highly significant relationship between campus racial climate and faculty satisfaction at the individual level, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, and tenure status. The second study identified five classes of faculty productivity with respect to gender, race, institutional type, and levels of faculty satisfaction.

The third study examined the relationships among faculty collegiality, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Significant findings indicated that faculty collegiality was strongly and positively related to job satisfaction and negatively related to turnover intentions, regardless of gender and race/ethnicity. Women faculty and faculty of color indicated lower levels of collegiality, and faculty of color reported lower job satisfaction and higher turnover intentions.


International Faculty in American Universities: Experiences of Academic Life, Productivity, and Career Mobility
Kim, D., Twombly, S., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2012). International Faculty in American Universities: Experiences of Academic Life, Productivity, and Career Mobility. New Directions for Institutional Research , 155, 27-46. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the past 20 years, the number of international faculty members at American universities has continued to increase rapidly. This growth is evident in data showing that the proportional representation of foreign-born faculty easily surpasses that of domestic underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The increasing presence of international faculty members is validated using multiple data sources, and their professional experience is examined in terms of the perception of academic life, productivity, and career mobility.

The primary interest of this chapter on international faculty and their professional experiences in U.S. higher education institutions is based on the assumption that international faculty are considered to be different than domestic faculty in their academic experiences, largely due to their cultural, educational, and language backgrounds. 

(2010). The Experience of Tenure-Track Faculty at Research Universities: Analysis of COACHE Survey Results by Academic Area and Gender.Abstract

The COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey is organized around five themes: tenure, nature of the work, policies and practices, climate, culture, and collegiality, and global satisfaction. This analysis looks at survey data for pre-tenure faculty at research universities. In particular, the analysis examined gender differences across twelve academic areas. Mean scores for each of the 83 survey dimension were ranked across all 12 academic areas.

Toward a Greater Understanding of the Tenure Track for Minorities
Trower, C. (2009). Toward a Greater Understanding of the Tenure Track for Minorities. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 41 (5), 38-45. Read the articleAbstract

To understand life on the tenure track, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) conducts an annual Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. Through surveys and in focus groups and interviews, hundreds of tenure-track faculty members share what affects their workplace satisfaction and, ultimately, their success. The clarity and reasonableness of the criteria and standards for achieving tenure, institutional and support for teaching and research, the effectiveness of workplace policies and practices, departmental climate and collegiality, and work/life balance are among the issues addressed. In 2009, for the first time, COACHE collected enough faculty respondents who self-identified in each racial and ethnic category, in proportions similar to their representation in the faculty population nationally, to look at each group separately. An examination of the different groups' experiences of faculty life is important to the welfare of students. This article presents a series of commonly asked questions about the COACHE research.

Young Faculty and their Impact on Academe
Trower, C. (2008). Young Faculty and their Impact on Academe. In Generational Shockwaves and the Implications for Higher Education . Heller, D. & D'Ambrosio, M., Eds. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Every generation blames the one before. And all of their frustrations come beating on your door. (Song lyrics “The Living Years,” 1988 Mike & The Mechanics)

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. (George Orwell, author)

Each generation must recreate liberty for its own times. (Florence E. Allen, Federal Judge)

Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages. (Hervey Allen, poet)*

Whichever quote you prefer, there’s plenty here to make us stop and think about the generations: blame, imagined superiority, recreation of liberty, and savagery! This is juicy stuff and it is not just fodder for good songs and great quotes; these themes are playing themselves out in the hallowed halls of academe.

Because I agree with C. Stone Brown (2005) who wrote, “it’s counterproductive to judge generational differences as a right way or a wrong way of doing tasks or learning, because there are differences in how generations feel about work, learn new tasks, and process information” (p. 30), the purpose of this chapter is to: highlight the values that shaped the policies and practices composed by the Lost Generation (born 1883–1900), which worked well for the GI (1901–24), Silent (1925–42) and Baby Boom (1943–60) Generations, which do not work so well for the 13th Generation (referred to throughout this chapter as Generation X or Gen X (1961–81).

Socrates, Thoreau and the Status Quo
Trower, C. (2006). Socrates, Thoreau and the Status Quo. In The New Balancing Act in the Business of Higher Education . Clark, R. L., & D'Ambrosio, M., Eds. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Universities are structured in a way that makes it almost impossible to deviate from the status quo, and the market gives them little incentive to change. Cathy A. Trower argues for a new model of higher education in which the focus is on inventing the future rather than on maintaining the traditions of the past, tenure decisions are made based on teaching and community involvement as well as research, and shared governance leads to constructive decision-making.

What do new scholars want?
Trower, C. (2006). What do new scholars want? In Faculty Career Paths: Multiple Routes to Academic Success and Satisfaction (ACE/Praeger Series on Higher Education) . Bataille, G., & Brown, B., Eds. Westport, CT: Praeger. Read the chapterAbstract
Changing demographics and a new emphasis on economic development, internationalization, and technology, are changing the ways in which university faculty conduct their work. University and college administrators need to be prepared to recruit, hire, and retain new faculty for this new world, and this book is designed to help. In addition to providing a wealth of data about the faculty of the future, it offers practical advice from the authors, and from a number of expert contributors, on recruiting and retaining new faculty while providing a supportive environment for senior faculty during a period of growth in higher education.