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COACHE Survey 2017: Listening to Voices from UMKC Faculty

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Conducting periodic surveys to assess the health of our organization is an important part of UMKC’s ongoing quality improvement efforts. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer distributed an email invitation last week encouraging all full-time faculty to complete a Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) job satisfaction survey. The survey opened during the week of Feb. 21 and will close on Friday, April 7. Faculty who have not yet completed the survey can reference their email inboxes for a unique link (sent from coachefaculty@opinioncast.com) to do so.

The COACHE survey has been operating from the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2003. It was designed to determine faculty job satisfaction statistics compared to faculty at peer institutions. The survey was last administered at UMKC during the Fall of 2013 to tenure-track and tenured faculty members. The UMKC COACHE Steering Team heard from faculty who shared their perspectives in 20 benchmark areas of concern identified through the survey results. Those results and related activities led to action plans and positive changes.

Of the results spurring from the previous COACHE survey outcomes at UMKC, academic units reviewed and clarified their guidelines for promotion and tenure. Workshops and individual consultations are now offered regularly for faculty engaged in promotion and tenure portfolio preparation. Recommendations for addressing faculty satisfaction with appreciation and recognition led to the expansion of the Fall 2016 Promotion and Tenure Celebration and recognition of Endowed Professors, which was held last August at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Country Club Plaza.

This year UMKC wants to hear from all full-time faculty, thus the survey is extended to all full-time tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure-track and clinical faculty. In a process approved by Harvard’s institutional review board, COACHE will provide our campus with their summary analysis, as well as the confidential unit-record database stripped of names and email addresses. No faculty, staff or administrator outside of the Office of Institutional Research at UMKC will have access to the unit-record data.

UMKC welcomes the opportunity to learn from an independent research-driven, comparative study and believes that our university has the potential to be one of the best places for scholars to work. Full time faculty at UMKC can help support that goal by completing the 25 minute, web-based survey by April 7. UMKC will receive a fully comparative report of survey results in June.

Upon receipt and review of survey results, the UMKC COACHE Steering Team members will be facilitating conversations with faculty members via new town hall meetings and focus group sessions during the Fall of 2017. Academic units will be involved in new action planning to improve faculty job satisfaction in identified areas.

If you have problems accessing the survey, please contact Amy Prettejohn at prettejohna@umkc.edu or COACHE at coachefaculty@srbi.com. If you have questions regarding our participation in COACHE, please contact Jennifer Friend, Chair of the UMKC COACHE Steering Team, at friendji@umkc.edu.

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