COACHE Survey of Faculty Job Satisfaction
Since 2007, Virginia Tech has partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to survey faculty on their perceptions of the university, the workplace, the community, and their jobs. The survey results allow university stakeholders to identify strengths as well as implement improvements that make Virginia Tech a more satisfying place for faculty to work.
Why COACHE matters
Data from COACHE surveys drives institutional change. Past survey results have informed the development, enhancement, or modification of a wide range of programs and policies, including:
- changes to the university’s system of shared governance;
- pre-tenure pandemic course releases;
- COVID tenure clock extensions;
- modified duties policies;
- support for dual career hiring;
- work-life policies to promote gender equity;
- mentoring programs; and
- enhanced work-life policy support.
As results from the 2023 survey become available, the Office of Faculty Affairs will share findings with the university community in a town hall–style meeting and will share the COACHE results on this website. Faculty Affairs will also work with college and department leaders and other campus partners to discuss the results and offer help implementing improvements suggested by COACHE data.
What COACHE studies
The COACHE survey gauges how faculty feel about their experience at Virginia Tech. Job satisfaction is measured by looking at a number of factors, including:
- Nature of work
- Facilities and work resources
- Compensation, benefits, and work-life policies
- Tenure and promotion policies and expectations
- Culture and quality of life
- Departmental and institutional climate and quality
- Appreciation and recognition
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Examples of COACHE questions may include:
- My institution does what it can to make personal/family obligations (e.g. childcare or eldercare) and an academic career compatible. [level of agreement/disagreement]
- How equitably committee assignments are distributed across faculty in your department. [level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with]
- My institution provides adequate support for faculty to be good mentors. [level of agreement/disagreement]
- My department has a culture where associate professors are encouraged to
- work towards promotion to full professorship. [level of agreement/disagreement]
- The steps taken by my institution-wide faculty governing body to ensure faculty are included in that body's decision making [level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with]
- My institution cultivates new leaders among faculty. [frequency/how often is this experienced?]
In response to feedback after the 2020 survey, Virginia Tech added six custom questions to its 2023 survey to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The questions were developed in collaboration with COACHE and Virginia Tech’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
How COACHE benchmarks Virginia Tech
Hundreds of universities participate in the COACHE survey, allowing Virginia Tech to benchmark itself against a large cohort, as well as a comparison group of five peer institutions.
Make your voice heard: Participating in the 2023 COACHE survey
Teaching and research faculty members of all ranks—including tenured and tenure-track professors, collegiate faculty, professors of practice, research professors, clinical professors, professional professors, and instructors—are invited to take COACHE’s online survey between February and April 2023. Average completion time for the 2020 survey was 22 minutes. The survey collects both Likert-scale responses and open-text responses.
- COACHE’s confidential data collection process is approved by the Institutional Review Board of Harvard University and Virginia Tech.
- Virginia Tech does not receive information on who participates.
- Data is analyzed and aggregated by the COACHE team at Harvard to protect the identities of faculty participants.
- Only de-identified, anonymized data is shared with the Office of Faculty Affairs.
- No supervisors or administrators have access to individual responses.
- Open-text responses will be redacted by Harvard’s COACHE team to ensure confidentiality. While the broad themes contained in open-text responses may be shared widely, individual answers will not be made public.
2023 COACHE timeline
- February 2023: COACHE faculty satisfaction survey launches
- February–April 2023: COACHE dashboard updates weekly with unit participation rates
- April 2023: COACHE survey closes
- Fall 2023: Office of Faculty Affairs receives and processes COACHE data
- Fall 2023: COACHE results are shared
- Spring 2024: Action plans and proposals based on COACHE findings are created
- Summer/Fall 2024: Implementation of recommended actions begins
Past COACHE reports
COACHE reports highlight areas of strength, and opportunities for improvement. Highlights from the 2020 results identified several areas that have informed policy or programmatic advancement:
In 2007 and 2009, only pre-tenure faculty were surveyed. In 2012 all instructional and research faculty were surveyed. In 2017 and 2020, all instructional faculty were surveyed.
COACHE Planning Team
- Kevin Carlson, associate dean, Pamplin College of Business
- Erica Cooper, assistant provost of faculty diversity, Office of Inclusion and Diversity
- Rachel Gabriele, associate vice provost for faculty affairs, Office of Faculty Affairs
- Eric Kaufman, professor and associate department head, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
- Shaila Mehra, assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and associate professor of practice, Department of Sociology
- Catherine Piché, program assistant, Office of Faculty Affairs
- Melody Warnick, content writer & editor, Provost Communications
Questions or concerns
Please email Rachel Gabriele, associate vice provost for faculty affairs.