Faculty to receive COACHE survey on workplace, career

October 25, 2011

Jay McCann, professor of political science and provost faculty fellow, is leading the Collaborative on Academic Careers on Higher Education (COACHE) survey project, which will be distributed to faculty on the West Lafayette campus on Monday (Oct. 31). (Purdue photo/John Underwood)

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Faculty soon will be invited to take an online survey addressing workplace experiences, job satisfaction and career development. Purdue is distributing the survey as part of its new membership in the Collaborative on Academic Careers on Higher Education (COACHE), a collaboration of colleges and universities committed to gathering data that will help Purdue recruit, retain and develop faculty members.

"All of the items addressed in the COACHE survey are intended to help inform policies and practices that improve the quality of work-life for our faculty," says Beverly Davenport Sypher, vice provost for faculty affairs. "This survey will help us to help faculty succeed. It covers nearly everything that pertains to the life of a faculty member."

The survey is a faculty-led project out of the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance. The University Senate endorsed the survey at its meeting on Monday (Oct. 24).

The last comprehensive faculty survey was administered through the University Senate seven years ago. This is Purdue's first time participating in the COACHE survey. More than 200 other colleges and universities in the country also will participate in the survey, which is provided through Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

"The opportunity to place Purdue in the context of other academic institutions, including those that are widely recognized as our peers, is invaluable," says Jay McCann, professor of political science and provost faculty fellow, who is leading the project for the Office of the Provost. "The COACHE survey will allow us to learn how faculty members perceive the workplace at Purdue and what steps might be taken to make it better."

All Purdue faculty members at the West Lafayette campus will receive the survey via email on Monday (Oct. 31).

Survey completion will take approximately 20 minutes. All responses will be completely confidential. Response and data tabulation will be done at Harvard, and no one at Purdue will see or handle individual responses. The survey will remain open until Jan. 13. Final results are expected to be tabulated by May.

"We hope for as much faculty participation as possible in the survey," McCann says. "The better the response rate, the better the information we will have about our workplace."

Findings will be compiled in a report and will be compared with results from five other COACHE institutions, which were chosen by Purdue as peers. The report will be directed to University administrators and an overview of the results will be shared at open meetings, with faculty committees, with University Senate and will be posted on a University website.

"The results will be used to help address faculty concerns and inform investments in workplace quality in ways that matter most to Purdue faculty," Davenport Sypher says.

For more information about COACHE, visit http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=coache&pageid=icb.page307142.