One of my overarching priorities is to foster a workplace that is valued by our faculty, students, and staff. There is no doubting that the pressures of an academic career are significant – especially during periods of constraint such as those as we have experienced in recent times. Nonetheless it is important that we continuously strive to do more to support our community and, periodically, assess how we are performing and what further might be done at the department, division, or university-wide level.
Last fall, UMKC was one of many institutions to join the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which administered a survey of job satisfaction. In this effort, locally coordinated by the UMKC COACHE team (Chris Brown, Lorie Holt, Georgia Smedley, Jenny Lundgren, Denis Medeiros, Larry Bunce, Jane Solose, Wayne Vaught, Peggy Ward Smith, Cindy Pemberton), surveys were sent to 399 tenured/tenure track faculty, and responses were received from 222 (56%).
Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Notably, the UMKC response rate was higher than our peer comparators and the full COACHE participant population. I appreciate that time is a precious resource, and I am committed to making your contribution to this effort be worth every minute.
Survey responses are grouped into several themes, including the nature of the teaching, research, and service aspects of faculty work; the clarity and reasonableness of our tenure and promotion processes; satisfaction with personal and family supports; levels of climate and collegiality; and other aspects of your work-life.
COACHE has sent us a comprehensive report of the findings, including results at peer institutions and among a large cohort of similar institutions. The UMKC COACHE team is assisting me in interpreting and responding to the detailed findings. We will communicate the results and begin discussions about actions plans based on the survey findings this fall in a series of faculty senate, campus-wide faculty meetings, and unit specific meetings. I encourage you to participate in these meetings so that you can learn the results of the survey and participate in developing consequent action plans.
- September 2, 2014; 3:00 PM–Faculty Senate Presentation; Plaza Room Administrative Center
- September 17, 2014; Noon–Volker Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; Haag Hall, Room 301
- October 15, 2014; Noon–Volker Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; Haag Hall, Room 301
- November 12, 2014; Noon–Health Sciences Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; HSB, Room 4301
-Dr. Gail Hackett, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost