Since 2003, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has surveyed more than 15,000 tenure-track faculty members at over 200 colleges and universities across the United States. These surveys focus on the factors that shape career satisfaction at higher educational institutions – an exceedingly important matter that bears directly on faculty productivity and retention. COACHE reports that the strongest predictors of satisfaction and success are the clarity of promotion and tenure procedures, the effective balancing of one’s personal and professional life, institutional support for research and teaching, and an engaged and supportive climate at the workplace.
In the 2011-2012 academic year, COACHE expanded its scope to include tenured and non-tenure-track faculty. Purdue University was among the first institutions to partner with COACHE in this more extensive survey. That year, 778 faculty colleagues at Purdue took part in the study, for an overall response rate of 47%. Several reports based on the findings from this investigation are now available to all members of the Purdue community: