Some faculty surveys are created primarily to produce scholarly research, sell newspapers, or generate "clicks". Such instruments include questions with no correlating policy or practical response (e.g., “Is your father an academic?”). With an eye toward institutional improvement, provosts and faculty helped design COACHE surveys to produce data that are actionable, pivotal, and of immediate use to academic policymakers. (Click here for links to institutional uses of COACHE results.)
COACHE surveys are also tailored. Although a one-size-fits-all survey of faculty and staff offers a greater degree of convenience, we know from research—and our partners know from experience—that pre-tenure, tenured, and non-tenure-track faculty have many different concerns about their work, lives, and productivity. These guiding principles shape a highly salient instrument: for every ten faculty who start a COACHE survey, nine complete it in the first sitting.
The Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, our flagship instrument, captures the faculty experience with teaching, service, and research; tenure and promotion; engagement and collegiality in the department; appreciation and recognition; faculty and administrative leadership; academic governance; interdisciplinary work, collaboration, and mentoring; personal and family policies; and other known drivers of faculty satisfaction. We offer optional modules for non-tenure-track, medical, and community college faculty, as well as custom questions.
In 2015-16, COACHE partnered with a large state university system to develop a new, shared instrument to assess the causes and costs of faculty departures and retentions. In June 2016, COACHE delivered its pilot findings in a symposium held at the University of California at Irvine. The Faculty Retention & Exit Survey now involves COACHE partners in the first comparative, multi-institutional study of faculty retentions and departures. We analyze the search, the offer, stay-or-go factors, handling (or fumbling) of the retention, and treatment in transition. The results show universities the costs of a “counteroffer culture,” spousal/ partner circumstances, salary and start-up inequities, and other factors in decisions to stay or leave.