Dear faculty colleagues,
In early spring 2020, the university administered a nationally benchmarked faculty job satisfaction survey in an effort to understand issues that affect your experiences at UT Austin. This was the second administration of the survey, first introduced to the campus in 2017.
The survey was developed and administered by Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). COACHE works with more than 250 institutions of higher education to survey faculty members and provide information about issues related to faculty success and climate. Their national data allows UT Austin to understand and compare facets of UT Austin faculty job satisfaction with those of some national peers.
Results from our second administration are very consistent with results from the first administration. The strengths and opportunities are also consistent with those reported by our peer group.
- The survey says 74% of faculty members are satisfied or very satisfied with working at UT, and 75% agree or strongly agree that if they had to do it all over again, they would choose to work at UT. Both of these percentages are congruent with our peers’ sentiments.
- When asked to select the best aspects of the university, the top three selections were quality of colleagues, quality of graduate students, and geographic location.
- The top three selected worst aspects of the university were compensation, support for
research/creative work, and the commute to campus.
- Across 25 survey themes, the theme that received the most positive ratings by UT and our peers concerns faculty members’ teaching experiences. The theme that received the least positive ratings by UT and our peers relates to interdisciplinary work.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The university worked with representatives from the faculty equity councils to develop custom questions to better understand issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. A key finding from those questions:
- Seventy-seven percent of faculty members agree or strongly agree that their departments actively work to recruit faculty members from underrepresented groups, although only 54% agree or strongly agree that their departments actively work to retain faculty members from underrepresented groups.
I encourage faculty members to review the full findings in this report and on our webpage as they help provide a glimpse into faculty members’ views on climate, diversity and inclusion and their impact on faculty job satisfaction. These results were shared with the deans and Faculty Council in late 2020. In addition, the Institutional Data and Equity Analysis Committee will make use of the data as supplemental evidence to support their equity research for our faculty equity councils. We are also using this semester to engage in discussions with faculty groups on campus, including our faculty equity councils, to further examine what the results inform us about the current faculty experience and to brainstorm initiatives to improve job satisfaction.