Upcoming COACHE Survey

Jan 25, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of Dr. Renée Botta, Dr. Kate Willink, and myself, we wanted to follow up and provide more information about the upcoming faculty satisfaction survey offered by the Collaborative for Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

COACHE, a consortium of over 200 colleges and universities, is a research initiative committed to supporting senior academic officers in developing best faculty recruitment and retention practices. Membership in the collaborative enables colleges and universities to gather sound diagnostic and comparative faculty data needed to inform discussions, generate ideas and initiate meaningful, data-driven decisions. The core component of COACHE is a web-based survey specially designed for pre-tenure, tenure and non-tenure-track faculty to collect information about their experience at their institution.

The COACHE survey will be administered for the University of Denver between February 12th and April 7, 2023.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The survey will be available to all full-time faculty at DU—tenured, tenure-track, and teaching and professional faculty, appointed faculty will be invited to complete the survey.
  • The survey is administered by COACHE and the survey is completely confidential.
  • The Data Governance Committee will help guide the overall administration of the survey, analyze the data, and develop a comprehensive communication plan for the rollout of the results.
    • A steering committee made up of faculty and administrators will help with the dissemination of the results and help identify those areas to celebrate and those areas where we need to improve.
    • The executive committee, consisting of Dr. Kate Willink, Dr. Renée Botta, and Dr. Bobbie Kite, will have broad oversight of the entire process.
  • Once the data is collected, a group of faculty and administrators will analyze the results, identify areas of celebration and improvement, and assist the campus with the communication. The Office of the Provost, the Office of Teaching and Learning, and the Faculty Senate will work together to tackle the issues raised so that when the survey is administered in 3 years, we will see improvement.

We thought we’d close with some personal reflections of why we are interested in the COACHE survey and process.

Why I am interested in the COACHE survey – Mary Clark

From my perspective, the COACHE consortium and survey has proven to be an incredibly effective tool for identifying areas in the environment affecting faculty – areas where the university is doing a good job and areas where it needs to improve.

As a result of the 2019 COACHE data, we led a concerted effort to make material progress on the areas of improvement. Here you can learn more about what we’ve done in response to our 2019 COACHE survey results.

Chancellor Haefner and I are interested in the COACHE consortium and survey because it will help us ensure that our faculty environment helps individuals develop to their fullest potential.

Why I am interested in the COACHE survey – Renée Botta:

From the perspective of the Faculty Senate, the COACHE survey is, quite simply, one of the most comprehensive instruments available for assessing the state of shared governance at DU, which is one of the most important aims of the Senate.

Last academic year HRIC (Human Resources and Inclusive Community) led the Modern Think survey. The Modern Think survey gave us a useful overview of employee engagement at DU, telling us that we could do much better in communicating across units, fostering collaboration, and creating fair processes and procedures.

The COACHE survey gives the opportunity to use an even better instrument—designed specifically to capture the unique perspective of faculty—for assessing communication, collaboration, fairness and shared governance. Where Modern Think gave us the temperature, COACHE gives us a sophisticated diagnostic instrument for understanding and addressing not only these issues, but the full range of cares and concerns of faculty at DU.

I hope the results will help inform DU’s practices and policies, leading to a better sense of belongingness for faculty and help DU become a place where faculty thrive.

Why I am interested in the COACHE survey – Kate Willink:

The COACHE survey is the preeminent, researched based faculty satisfaction survey that allows us to better understand the lived experience of faculty across campus.  I deeply appreciate that COACHE also works to represent the heterogeneous experiences of faculty on campus from rank and series to compositional diversity. My hope is that we will gain actionable data and that we can think together to identify key areas for improvement and innovative ways to create positive changes for faculty.

COACHE also allows custom questions. One area we are repeating custom questions is around diversity and inclusion, a core institutional priority. This data will be one indicator of how faculty feel about diversity and inclusion in their departments and about the role of university policies and procedures in supporting diversity in recruitment and retention. As we welcome a new Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, this data will provide some touchstones to inform action and benchmark progress. In the end, my hope is that we as faculty engage the data to initiate the changes we want to see on campus and make meaningful improvements in the lives of faculty as individuals, in their departments, at a unit level, and across campus. Last time we conducted the COACHE survey it was used to inform many VPFA initiatives and informed the symposium which led to substantial, scalable, and sustainable change. My hope is that our 2023 results will do the same.

We hope you’ll agree that the COACHE survey, the results, and the process for change is a worthwhile investment of your time. Please look for more information about the upcoming survey soon.

Mary Clark

Kate Willink
Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs

Renée Botta
Faculty Senate

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