Special Reports

Most of COACHE's research is written for audiences of provosts, deans, faculty leaders--those looking to improve their daily work through application of our findings on faculty satisfaction and institutional practices. Our publications often take the shape of special reports and white papers like these:

Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty
by Maya Weilundemo Ott and Kiernan Mathews (June 2015)
The COACHE research-practice partnership is designed to enact organizational change for the benefit of faculty and, by extension, the institution. But does every college's system of shared governance have what it takes to meet their own or, indeed, higher education’s most pressing challenges? This white paper looks beyond the rhetoric toward a more differentiated understanding of the ingredients of effective academic governance. Ott and Mathews offer a five-factor framework grounded in the literature, developed from interviews, and, now, tested in a survey of thousands of faculty. The report concludes with advice for assessing and fostering the qualities of “hard” and “soft” governance practices essential to sustainable change in the “real world” decision-making of committees, assemblies, senates, councils, and unions.

Perspectives on Midcareer Faculty and Advice for Supporting Them
by Kiernan Mathews (July 2014)
This 8-page white paper was produced for an invited presentation at the Association of Public Land-grant Universities' (APLU) Council on Academic Affairs Summer Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Click here to download the full report.

Benchmark Best Practices: Tools for Faculty Support & Satisfaction
by Cathy Trower, Brendan Russell, Meg Starkey, Todd Benson and Kiernan Mathews (Fall 2014)
This series of white papers offers examples from seventeen colleges and universities whose faculty indicated exceptionally high levels of satisfaction across one or more themes of COACHE's survey benchmarks. Data from COACHE’s Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey revealed promising practices from a mix of private and public institutions of varying missions and financial resources. Researchers at COACHE then interviewed key stakeholders about survey findings on each of these themes:

Appreciation & Recognition | Departmental Leadership | Departmental Engagement, Quality & Collegiality | Interdisciplinary Work & Collaboration | Mentoring | Nature of Work: Research | Nature of Work: Service | Nature of Work: Teaching | Tenure & Promotion

Senior Faculty Vitality
by Cathy Trower (June 2011)
The vitality, productivity and satisfaction of senior faculty is extremely important to colleges and universities in fulfilling their missions and achieving their goals. This TIAA-CREF report examines the workplace satisfaction of senior faculty members at seven public research universities. One-quarter of senior faculty surveyed feel that the single most important thing colleges and universities can do to improve the workplace revolves around leadership stability and consistency of mission, focus, and priorities. Sixteen percent feel that increased salaries are most important and 14 percent would like more research support. Click here to download the full report

Senior Faculty Satisfaction: Perceptions of Associate and Full Professors at Seven Public Research Universities
by Cathy Trower (June 2011)
This TIAA-CREF paper presents data from a survey of 1,775 tenured associate and full professors at seven public universities, showing that many are frustrated about leadership turnover and the corresponding shifts in mission, focus, and priorities, and also about salary. In addition, associate professors are less satisfied than full professors on critical factors such as support for research, collaboration, and clarity of promotion, and women are less satisfied than men on numerous dimensions including mentoring support for research and interdisciplinary work, and clarity of promotion. Click here to download the full report.


New Challenges, New Priorities: The Experience of Generation X Faculty
by Robin Helms (2010)
This qualitative study, commissioned by COACHE, challenges the misperception of “Generation X” college faculty as self-centered careerists. Interviews with 16 faculty and administrators at three representative campuses suggest that Gen X faculty prefer, in fact, to establish long-term relationships with colleagues and others in their professional and personal communities. This report builds on COACHE’s faculty survey data to study how Gen X faculty (born between 1964 and 1980) approach their jobs, long-term careers, and work-life balance while examining generational “clashes” with faculty of earlier generations. Click here to download the complete report.

Perspectives on What Pre-Tenure Faculty Want and What Six Research Universities Provide
by Anne Gallagher and Cathy Trower (2008)
COACHE released this report in conjunction with the Harvard University Office for Faculty Diversity & Development. It is the result of many months of mining and synthesizing the information we collected from nearly 80 interviews with pre-tenure and tenured faculty, department chairs, and senior administrators at six COACHE member campuses. Much of what is contained in this report may be all too familiar to an experienced academic administrator, but it is the first time, to our knowledge, that the experiences of early-career faculty and the faculty development policies of top-tier research universities have been assembled in one place.  To view a copy of the report click here.

Exemplar Reports
From time to time, COACHE identifies institutions finding particular successes in important areas of faculty recruitment, development, and retention. Those periodic announcements may be found here: