COACHE responses lead to new programs

An analysis of COACHE survey responses from 2015 revealed areas where support for faculty and aspects of faculty work life could be improved. Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs, and Jessica Huber, interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs, have developed several programs to address these concerns with approval from former Provost Deba Dutta and Interim Provost Jay Akridge.

Faculty completed the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey in 2015, which was the second time Purdue participated in the survey. COACHE is administered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and although individual responses remain anonymous, patterns emerged to indicate faculty support and work life could be improved in the following areas: promotion from associate professor to full, mentoring, use of best practices within the units, climate, and inclusion. The following programs have been initiated to address these areas:

  • Heads and deans will work with faculty to develop clear, unit-specific criteria for promotion to associate and full professor (for tenure-track, clinical, and research faculty).
  • The Provost’s Office is offering a new half-day orientation for newly tenured faculty to help them plan their path to full professor.
  • The new Faculty Review Standard will be in effect beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. This standard requires that assistant and associate professors receive a yearly written review and full professors receive a written review at least every three years. This standard applies to tenure-track, clinical and research faculty, and is designed to ensure that faculty receive clear communication from their department head regarding their progress and performance.
  • The Provost’s Office has funded a number of Diversity Transformation Awards, several of which are focused on improving diversity and inclusion within the faculty.
  • The Provost’s Office is launching the Purdue Insights Forum: A Leadership Program for Personal and Professional Development. This new program is designed for individuals who are interested in academic leadership roles, particularly associate head, department head, center/institute/program director, and associate dean. Sessions focus on leadership skills including building consensus, engaging in difficult conversations, transparency and accountability, mentoring faculty and staff, and ensuring diversity and inclusion. In spring 2018, we will release a call for applications for the 2018-19 program.
  • The monthly Heads Forums and the New Heads Development Program will continue this year with a focus on sharing best practices.

In addition to these new programs, several initiatives are in development:

  • An initiative to appoint faculty facilitators. Facilitators will be trained to provide their faculty colleagues with a sounding board and mentoring advice when issues arise, and to assist in navigating the Purdue system.
  • A new Professional Development Seminar series is being developed to serve the needs of clinical faculty.
  • The Provost’s Office has funded a program to develop peer conversations around diversity and inclusion based on a program piloted in the College of Engineering.
  • Initiatives to improve faculty mentoring are being considered.

Purdue will be participating in the COACHE survey again this spring. Please watch for the announcements and be sure to participate so we can continue to improve faculty work life at Purdue.

August 31, 2017

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