Research

Analyzing both survey data and institutional practice, COACHE has amassed a body of knowledge to serve both the scholarly and practitioner communities which we seek to connect.

Infographic

Recognizing Faculty with Disabilities: Data and Considerations from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey

Drawing upon Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data from 2019 and 2020, this piece examines meaningful differences in perception of the academic workplace between faculty with visible disabilities, invisible disabilities, and no reported disabilities.

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Case Study

Supporting the Next Generation of Faculty at Georgia State University

In this partner spotlight, Georgia State University shares how the institution applied its data-driven approach to student success to the faculty experience through the administration and rollout of the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. 

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Webinar

Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Mid-Career Faculty

Based on the 2018 book, Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty (Stylus), this webinar highlights the impetus behind compiling the volume, as well as the successful practices put in place by COACHE partners at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

 

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Data Requests

Review COACHE's datasets and submit data request application

Browse Resources By Topic

The possibility of promotion: How race and gender predict promotion clarity for associate professors

Citation:

Kulp, A., Wolf-Wendel, L., & Smith, D. (2019). The possibility of promotion: How race and gender predict promotion clarity for associate professors. Teachers College Record , 121 (5).
The possibility of promotion: How race and gender predict promotion clarity for associate professors

Abstract:

Past studies have strongly suggested that equity issues affect advancement through the academic pipeline. This study uses cross-institutional results from the 2010 through 2012 Faculty Job Satisfaction Surveys to offer analysis and potential solutions for the problem.

The study asks whether cultural taxation in the form of heavy service and advising—often associated with underrepresented minority faculty and women faculty—is a factor in advancement through the academic pipeline, and also examines the influence of ideal-worker norms and work/family demands on perceptions of promotion clarity. The analysis suggests that the factors associated with lack of clarity about promotion are more structural than individual.

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Last updated on 10/13/2020

Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices

Gender and Race Differences in Faculty Assessment of Tenure Clarity: The Influence of Departmental Relationships and Practices

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/16/2020

Benchmark Best Practices: Tenure and Promotion

Benchmark Best Practices: Tenure and Promotion

Abstract:

The COACHE surveys of college faculty produce data that are both salient to full-time college faculty and actionable by academic leaders. The survey items are aggregated into 20 benchmarks representing the general thrust of faculty satisfaction along key themes. This white paper discusses the themes of tenure policies, tenure clarity, and promotion.

Administrators and faculty alike acknowledge that, at most institutions, the bar to achieve tenure has risen over time. While it is impossible to eliminate anxiety from the minds of all pre-tenure faculty members, or the pressures exerted on their lives en route to tenure, academic leaders can improve the clarity of tenure policies and expectations without sacrificing rigor. And while the academy has recently improved many policies for assistant professors (e.g., research leave; stop-the-tenure-clock; part-time tenure-track options), it has done far less for associate professors. Ideas have emerged from COACHE research on tenured faculty.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions

Citation:

Norman, B. (2019). Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 51 (4), 48-54.
Faculty Leadership and Institutional Resilience: Indicators, Promising Practices, and Key Questions

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/07/2020

The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs

Citation:

Larson, L. M., Seipel, M. T., Shelley, M. C., Gahn, S. W., Ko, S. Y., Schenkenfelder, M., Rover, D. T., et al. (2019). The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs. Journal of Career Assessment , 27 (1), 167-182.
The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/07/2020

Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Midcareer Faculty

Abstract:

Mid-career faculty actively seek professional satisfaction and personal well-being in their careers at the departmental and institutional level. However, a growing body of research tells us that the policies and practices in place at colleges and universities do not always support this goal. This webinar, “Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Mid-Career Faculty,” offers an inside take on the themes of the book Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty and provide real-world best practices from practitioners in the field.

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Last updated on 10/27/2020

Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty

Citation:

Ott, M. W., & Mathews, K. (2015). Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty. The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education.
Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/16/2020

Benchmark Best Practices: Departmental Leadership

Benchmark Best Practices: Departmental Leadership

Abstract:

The COACHE surveys of college faculty produce data that are both salient to full-time college faculty and actionable by academic leaders. The survey items are aggregated into 20 benchmarks representing faculty satisfaction. This white paper examines departmental leadership and faculty satisfaction with chairs’ or department heads’ pace of decision-making, stated priorities, and fairness in evaluating faculty work.

COACHE’s 2010 pilot study of tenured faculty found that faculty desire from the administration a clearly articulated institutional mission and vision that do not change in ways that adversely affect faculty work. Faculty also wish for clear expectations for the mix of research, teaching, and service or outreach; support for research and teaching; and a sense that their work is valued. Deans and department chairs can improve faculty morale through communication, and particularly by involving faculty in meaningful decisions that affect them. Deans and chairs are also responsible for supporting faculty in adapting to any changes to mission and institutional priorities.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Citation:

Trower, C. (2012). Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction (pp. 288) . Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Abstract:

Landing a tenure-track position is no easy task. Achieving tenure is even more difficult. Under what policies and practices do faculty find greater clarity about tenure and experience higher levels of job satisfaction? What makes an institution a great place to work?

In 2005–2006, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty at 200 institutions. The survey was designed around five key themes: tenure clarity, work-life balance, support for research, collegiality, and leadership.

Success on the Tenure Track positions the survey data in the context of actual colleges and universities. Best practices at the highest-rated institutions in the survey—Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina at Pembroke—give administrators practical, proven advice on increasing employee satisfaction. Additional chapters discuss faculty demographics, trends in employment practices, creating a great workplace for faculty, and the future of tenure.

 

Read the full text

Last updated on 10/16/2020

To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields

Citation:

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.
To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields

Abstract:

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.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 10/21/2020

The workplace satisfaction of newly-tenured faculty members at research universities

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

If faculty are dissatisfied with their work, colleges and universities can experience educational and organizational repercussions that include contentious departmental climates and stagnant work productivity. The dissatisfaction of newly tenured faculty, who face unique transitional circumstances, could have particularly negative consequences. 

This dissertation uses Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data, along with interviews of 12 newly tenured faculty members, to estimate the predictors of newly tenured faculty workplace satisfaction. The results indicate that newly-tenured faculty tend to be satisfied with their institutions when they have communicative senior leaders, fair and reasonable compensation, and a sense of belonging in their departments. At the departmental level, newly-tenured faculty are more likely to be satisfied when norms and behaviors promote inclusion and diversity, colleagues are respectful, and departmental leaders are supportive. The results of this study can stimulate thinking about new policies and practices to maximize the satisfaction and performance of faculty during this transformative period in their careers.

 

Read the dissertation

Last updated on 10/14/2020

The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty

Citation:

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.
The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Family policies and institutional satisfaction: An intersectional analysis of tenure-track faculty

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

Guided by an intersectional perspective, this study compares responses to the 2008 and 2009 Tenure-Track Faculty Job Satisfaction survey provided by four groups of faculty: African American women, African American men as well as white women and white men. The study examines faculty perceptions regarding the importance of family policies as related to career success, the effectiveness of family policies at the institution, and the level of satisfaction with work-life balance. The findings indicate that there are significant differences in policy perceptions and work-life satisfaction. African American women overwhelmingly indicate that eldercare policy is important to career success, while white women are more concerned with childcare policy. Significant group differences emerge in faculty assessment of childcare policy. The analysis reveals institutional-level support for care work influences overall satisfaction with the institution more than departmental support. The findings suggest care work still matters in relation to a faculty member's career advancement.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Work life balance and job satisfaction among faculty at Iowa State University

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

This study utilized the existing database from the Iowa State University 2009-2010 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to explore faculty work life balance and job satisfaction among academic disciplines. This research sought to determine if (a) work life differs by academic discipline group: (b) job satisfaction differs by academic discipline, and (c) there is a relationship between faculty work life and job satisfaction and whether this relationship differs by academic discipline group, and (d) if academic discipline has a unique effect on faculty work and life balance.

The results indicated that there is a significant relationship between work life and job satisfaction. When controlling for demographic and professional experience, the result also indicated that age and climate, and culture were significant predicators for work life balance. The results also showed that female faculty have lower job satisfaction, and indicated that the level of job satisfaction was lower for hard pure disciplines than soft pure disciplines.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Citation:

Trower, C. (2012). Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction (pp. 288) . Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Abstract:

Landing a tenure-track position is no easy task. Achieving tenure is even more difficult. Under what policies and practices do faculty find greater clarity about tenure and experience higher levels of job satisfaction? What makes an institution a great place to work?

In 2005–2006, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty at 200 institutions. The survey was designed around five key themes: tenure clarity, work-life balance, support for research, collegiality, and leadership.

Success on the Tenure Track positions the survey data in the context of actual colleges and universities. Best practices at the highest-rated institutions in the survey—Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina at Pembroke—give administrators practical, proven advice on increasing employee satisfaction. Additional chapters discuss faculty demographics, trends in employment practices, creating a great workplace for faculty, and the future of tenure.

 

Read the full text

Last updated on 10/16/2020

Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled?

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 11/18/2020

To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields

Citation:

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.
To stay or not to stay: retention of Asian international faculty in STEM fields

Abstract:

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.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 10/21/2020

Is the Tenure Process Fair? What Faculty Think

Citation:

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.
Is the Tenure Process Fair? What Faculty Think

Abstract:

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.

 

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Last updated on 10/14/2020

Browse Resources by Faculty Type

Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues

Citation:

Ponjuan, L., Conley, V. M., & Trower, C. (2011). Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues. The Journal of Higher Education , 82 (3), 319-346.
Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues

Abstract:

Despite a steady decline in available faculty tenure-track positions, future vacancies in tenure-track positions provide opportunities to diversify faculty ranks with new female faculty and faculty of color. This impending employment shift in faculty demographics may change departmental climates, pre-tenure faculty socialization processes, and professional and personal relationships between pre-tenure female faculty and faculty of color and their colleagues.

This study examines pre-tenure faculty members' perception of collegial relationships with colleagues. We primarily focus on the organizational socialization of female faculty and faculty of color, and faculty in different pre-tenure career stages. We found differences in satisfaction with collegial relationships between faculty by gender, race, and pre-tenure career stages.

 

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Last updated on 10/16/2020

Toward a Greater Understanding of the Tenure Track for Minorities

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/16/2020
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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

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

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.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 10/21/2020

The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty

Citation:

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.
The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenure faculty

Abstract:

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.

Read the article

Last updated on 10/21/2020

Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Citation:

Trower, C. (2012). Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction (pp. 288) . Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Success on the Tenure Track: Five Keys to Faculty Job Satisfaction

Abstract:

Landing a tenure-track position is no easy task. Achieving tenure is even more difficult. Under what policies and practices do faculty find greater clarity about tenure and experience higher levels of job satisfaction? What makes an institution a great place to work?

In 2005–2006, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty at 200 institutions. The survey was designed around five key themes: tenure clarity, work-life balance, support for research, collegiality, and leadership.

Success on the Tenure Track positions the survey data in the context of actual colleges and universities. Best practices at the highest-rated institutions in the survey—Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina at Pembroke—give administrators practical, proven advice on increasing employee satisfaction. Additional chapters discuss faculty demographics, trends in employment practices, creating a great workplace for faculty, and the future of tenure.

 

Read the full text

Last updated on 10/16/2020

The workplace satisfaction of newly-tenured faculty members at research universities

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

If faculty are dissatisfied with their work, colleges and universities can experience educational and organizational repercussions that include contentious departmental climates and stagnant work productivity. The dissatisfaction of newly tenured faculty, who face unique transitional circumstances, could have particularly negative consequences. 

This dissertation uses Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data, along with interviews of 12 newly tenured faculty members, to estimate the predictors of newly tenured faculty workplace satisfaction. The results indicate that newly-tenured faculty tend to be satisfied with their institutions when they have communicative senior leaders, fair and reasonable compensation, and a sense of belonging in their departments. At the departmental level, newly-tenured faculty are more likely to be satisfied when norms and behaviors promote inclusion and diversity, colleagues are respectful, and departmental leaders are supportive. The results of this study can stimulate thinking about new policies and practices to maximize the satisfaction and performance of faculty during this transformative period in their careers.

 

Read the dissertation

Last updated on 10/14/2020

Data, Leadership, and Catalyzing Culture Change

Citation:

Benson, T., & Trower, C. (2012). Data, Leadership, and Catalyzing Culture Change. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , 44 (4), 27-34.
Data, Leadership, and Catalyzing Culture Change

Abstract:

As the national economy has worsened, a large cadre of tenured senior faculty is graying and staying at their institutions. This has left an older set of full professors who began their careers in a different era, an overworked and underappreciated set of associate professors, and a group of assistant professors who are wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?”

By and large, tenure-track faculty want what they have always wanted: clear and reasonable tenure requirements; support for teaching and research; an environment that allows them to juggle responsibilities at work and home; and a set of colleagues to whom they can turn for mentoring, collaborations, intellectual stimulation, and friendship. But several differences between the past and present affect these faculty dramatically.

 

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Last updated on 10/16/2020

Senior Faculty Vitality

Citation:

Trower, C. (2011). Senior Faculty Vitality. TIAA Institute . TIAA CREF.
Senior Faculty Vitality

Abstract:

Academic institutions and faculty are pressured today from multiple directions as the federal government demands greater accountability, states cut budgets, tuition payers demand more, granting agencies become more selective and trustees apply more pressure and scrutinize more closely. In this context, this report examines the workplace satisfaction of senior faculty members at seven public research universities.

The vitality, productivity and satisfaction of senior faculty is extremely important to colleges and universities in fulfilling their missions and achieving their goals. 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.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 09/24/2020

Reasonableness and clarity of tenure expectations: Gender and race differences in faculty perceptions.

Abstract:

This dissertation studies how higher education policies and practices can affect faculty retention and proposes changes that higher education institutions need to make to retain their faculty. The first manuscript investigates the reasonableness of tenure expectations as it relates to work-life balance, the second explores whether women’s and men’s assessments of tenure-related departmental practices influence their perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations, and the third looks at how the intersection of gender and race influences faculty perceptions of clarity of tenure expectations. The dissertation uses Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey data from a sample of 2,438 tenure-track assistant professors at research universities.

 

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Last updated on 10/09/2020

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

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

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.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 10/21/2020

Engineering a place for women: A study of how departmental climate influences the career satisfaction of female mechanical engineering faculty members

Thesis Type:

Dissertation

Abstract:

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.

Read the dissertation

Last updated on 10/14/2020

Browse Resources by Type

Recognizing Faculty with Disabilities: Data and Considerations from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey

Recognizing Faculty with Disabilities: Data and Considerations from the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey

Abstract:

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

Download the infographic

Last updated on 10/16/2020

Revealing Data on Faculty Retention & Departure

Revealing Data on Faculty Retention & Departure

Abstract:

In 2017, after a successful pilot with several campuses of a large public university system, COACHE launched the Faculty Retention and Exit Survey nationwide. This study represents the first multi-institutional survey of faculty retentions (among those with outside offers) and departures. Until now, there was no coordinated effort for universities to develop a common understanding of the causes, costs, and conduct of faculty mobility.

Among the takeaways: More than half of faculty ranked salary as a secondary factor or not a factor in their decision to stay or leave. But 67% selected quality of colleagues as a compelling factor. The study also found that faculty are expected to cultivate outside offers before they can ask for a better deal at home, and that this requirement pushes them out the door: nearly 1 in 3 faculty who left originally sought the offer only to renegotiate the terms of their employment.

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Faculty Retention and Exit Survey - Infographic
Last updated on 10/13/2020

Building Trust, Engaging Faculty, Taking Action: Supporting the Next Generation of Faculty at Georgia State University

Building Trust, Engaging Faculty, Taking Action: Supporting the Next Generation of Faculty at Georgia State University

Abstract:

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.  

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Last updated on 02/17/2021

Prioritizing Responsibility as a New Provost

Prioritizing Responsibility as a New Provost

Abstract:

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.

 

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Last updated on 10/12/2020

Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College

Climate Change: Creating Space for Interdepartmental Problem Solving at Skidmore College

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 02/08/2021

Women Faculty in STEM Disciplines: Experiences with the Tenure Process and Departmental Practices

Women Faculty in STEM Disciplines: Experiences with the Tenure Process and Departmental Practices

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 01/19/2021

Faculty Perceptions of Work-Life Balance: The Role of Marital/Relationship and Family Status

Faculty Perceptions of Work-Life Balance: The Role of Marital/Relationship and Family Status

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 01/12/2021

Non-Tenure Track Faculty Satisfaction: A Self-Determination Model

Citation:

Crick, K. A., Larson, L. M., & Seipel, M. T. (2019). Non-Tenure Track Faculty Satisfaction: A Self-Determination Model. Journal of Career Assessment , 28 (3), 425-445.
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Satisfaction: A Self-Determination Model

Abstract:

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. 

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Last updated on 11/18/2020
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COACHE Summary Tables 2019: Selected Dimensions of the Faculty Workplace Experience

Citation:

Azubuike, N. O., Benson, R. T., Kumar, A., & Mathews, K. (2019). COACHE Summary Tables 2019: Selected Dimensions of the Faculty Workplace Experience.

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/28/2020

COACHE Summary Tables 2014: Selected Dimensions on Faculty Workplace Climate by Discipline, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender

Abstract:

These tables present data from the 2014 Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey focusing on workplace climate, including responses to questions about workload, mentoring, departmental engagement, collaboration, and clarity around tenure decisions. Results are disaggregated by department, race/ethnicity, and gender.

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Last updated on 10/28/2020
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Assessing the Needs of Part-Time Faculty: Lessons Learned from the University at Buffalo

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/27/2020

Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Midcareer Faculty

Abstract:

Mid-career faculty actively seek professional satisfaction and personal well-being in their careers at the departmental and institutional level. However, a growing body of research tells us that the policies and practices in place at colleges and universities do not always support this goal. This webinar, “Success After Tenure: Lessons in Engaging Mid-Career Faculty,” offers an inside take on the themes of the book Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty and provide real-world best practices from practitioners in the field.

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Last updated on 10/27/2020

Building a Better Exit Study: A National Effort to Understand Faculty Retention & Turnover

Abstract:

In 2016, COACHE partnered with the University of California System to pilot our newest undertaking -- the Faculty Retenion and Exit Survey. This survey is the only multi-institutional study of faculty retention and exit, and examines the costs, conduct, and causes of faculty turnover. 

In this webinar, Kiernan Mathews and Todd Benson describe how the survey came to be, and outline some of the initial findings from the pilot study along with some practical recommendations for Academic Affairs administrators. 

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Last updated on 10/28/2020

Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty

Citation:

Ott, M. W., & Mathews, K. (2015). Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty. The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education.
Effective Academic Governance: Five Ingredients for CAOs and Faculty

Abstract:

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.

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Last updated on 10/16/2020

Benchmark Best Practices: Tenure and Promotion

Benchmark Best Practices: Tenure and Promotion

Abstract:

The COACHE surveys of college faculty produce data that are both salient to full-time college faculty and actionable by academic leaders. The survey items are aggregated into 20 benchmarks representing the general thrust of faculty satisfaction along key themes. This white paper discusses the themes of tenure policies, tenure clarity, and promotion.

Administrators and faculty alike acknowledge that, at most institutions, the bar to achieve tenure has risen over time. While it is impossible to eliminate anxiety from the minds of all pre-tenure faculty members, or the pressures exerted on their lives en route to tenure, academic leaders can improve the clarity of tenure policies and expectations without sacrificing rigor. And while the academy has recently improved many policies for assistant professors (e.g., research leave; stop-the-tenure-clock; part-time tenure-track options), it has done far less for associate professors. Ideas have emerged from COACHE research on tenured faculty.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020

Benchmark Best Practices: Nature of Work: Teaching

Benchmark Best Practices: Nature of Work: Teaching

Abstract:

The COACHE surveys of college faculty produce data that are both salient to full-time college faculty and actionable by academic leaders. The survey items are aggregated into 20 benchmarks representing faculty satisfaction along key themes. This white paper examines teaching, based on survey responses that measure satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the portion of faculty members’ time spent on teaching, the number and level of courses taught, the number and quality of students taught, discretion over course content, and the distribution of teaching workload across department faculty.

The challenge for every faculty member is to strike a balance between institutional expectations for teaching and the time available to invest in it. Dissatisfaction can occur when faculty members feel expectations for teaching are unreasonable, institutional support is lacking, or the distribution of work is inequitable. Satisfaction can be raised through workshops about improving teaching, mentoring students, using instructional technologies, and experimenting with new techniques.

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Last updated on 10/21/2020
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