The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey was administered to all full-time faculty across CUNY in the spring of 2015. John Jay College participated in the survey twice before (2009-10, pre-tenure faculty; 2011-12, tenured faculty).
Findings were not encouraging from any of the surveys. However, John Jay’s response to the most recent survey was different than in the past. Faculty are beginning to see changes on our campus as a result.
Understanding the results
We created a transparent, faculty-led process to understand the results. John Jay’s Provost (Jane Bowers), Faculty Senate President (Karen Kaplowitz) and Chair of the Council of Chairs (Jay Hamilton) created a Working Group on the Faculty (Working Group) that included two faculty members from each full time faculty category: Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; Full Professor; Lecturer/Instructor; and two administrative liaison members. The Working Group:
Given the breadth of topics addressed in the survey, the Working Group sought to focus on the most salient issues. Our discussions identified a number of areas that reflected a high degree of relative dissatisfaction among respondents and were highlighted as “areas of concern” by COACHE. The Working Group decided to focus on three of these areas:
While the report itself was helpful in providing context for faculty concerns, the most vital part of the report was a task list with eight goals we recommended the college seek to improve faculty satisfaction, alongside measurable short- and long-term outcomes that would mark progress toward those goals. One important outcome was the creation of an Associate to the Provost for Faculty position. This faculty member is focused on faculty affairs and, along with the Provost, is using the Working Group’s report as a template for action. Of the eight goals, the campus has seen real progress on six already this year. The Working Group will continue to monitor progress.
Angela Crossman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a member of the University Faculty Senate.
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