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.
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.
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.
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.