Progress Report on the COACHE Faculty Satisfaction Survey

Dear Colleagues,

Rutgers is committed to the recruitment, advancement, and retention of faculty who excel in scholarship, teaching, and service. Realizing our commitment requires taking the necessary steps to get feedback from our faculty regarding their university experience. During the Spring 2019 semester, Rutgers–New Brunswick faculty took an unprecedented step in partnering with the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey to assess our academic climate. Seven hundred and seventy-nine of our full-time tenured, tenure track, and non-tenure-track faculty participated in the COACHE survey. On February 4, 2020, you received a report “Outcomes and Insights from the Inaugural COACHE Faculty Satisfaction Survey” from the Provost’s Office detailing the results of the faculty’s COACHE survey and available on the Office of the Provost website.

The survey establishes a baseline for faculty satisfaction highlighting many areas of 'satisfaction,' including the quality of colleagues, opportunities for collaboration, departmental climate, process and criteria for tenure and promotion, health and retirement benefits, work-life balance, and time spent on teaching, research, and service. However, there were three main areas in which faculty were least satisfied: 1) Research: support for research, the quality of lab/research facilities, securing graduate assistance, and securing and maintaining grants; 2) Governance & Communication: the overall category of governance, institutional leadership, and communication between faculty and administrators; and 3) Faculty development and support.

The COACHE survey data was the first step in identifying critical areas of institutional strengths and gaps. During the Fall 2020 semester, I convened a COACHE working group of faculty representatives from academic units and the New Brunswick Faculty Council. The COACHE Working Group met weekly and worked diligently to review the COACHE findings, meet with key stakeholders and administrators, consult with their academic units, and develop recommendations for each of the three unsatisfactory areas—research, governance and communication, and faculty development. The next step is to share the working group's recommendations with our community. In the coming months, I will be hosting town hall meetings to provide a forum for our colleagues in the COACHE Working Group to share their recommendations with our community.

I look forward to your participation and engagement in conversations about how we can work together to improve the climate for faculty. Looking ahead, I intend to conduct the COACHE survey regularly, approximately every three years, so we can continue to foster an environment that facilitates our faculty’s success.

Please continue to share your ideas through the feedback portal on the COACHE survey site. The Provost’s Office continues to prioritize the areas of institutional deficit identified via the survey: 1) research infrastructure and support; 2) strategies for more effective communications and engagement with faculty and faculty governance structures, and 3) faculty development and support – especially the advancement of mid-career and under-represented minority faculty.

I appreciate the work and dedication of the COACHE Working Group members, who have given careful attention to the work and devoted their time to this initiative.

Members of the COACHE Working Group 2020-2021
Clinton Andrews, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Alok Baveja, Rutgers Business School
Robert Boikess, School of Arts and Sciences
Timothy Cleary, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Christopher Doll, Mason Gross School of the Arts
Thomas Figueira, School of Arts and Sciences
Susan Forman, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Marybeth Gasman, Graduate School of Education
Emily Greenfield, School of Social Work
Maria Kraimer, School of Management and Labor Relations
Linda Reddy, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Lisa Rodenburg, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Bharat Sarath, Rutgers Business School
Anand Sarwate, School of Engineering
Don Schaffner, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Stuart Shapiro, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Michelle Van Noy, School of Management and Labor Relations
Elin Wicks, School of Engineering
Ellen Williams, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Ryan Womack, New Brunswick Libraries

Thank you to all the faculty who have taken the time to complete the survey, and I look forward to your continued participation in future surveys and learning more about how I can support your success.

Town Hall Meetings Dates and Registration:
Wednesday, March 24, 2021; 4:30-5:30 PM (registration link)
Wednesday, March 31, 2021; 4:30-5:30 PM (registration link)
Wednesday, April 7, 2021; 4:30-5:30 PM (registration link)

Sincerely,

Francine Conway, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Distinguished Professor