MU releases academic career survey results

Survey highlights department collegiality, faculty leadership and teaching as areas of strength and finds shared governance and senior leadership as areas for development.

Feb. 16, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, 573-882-6212,  

Today, the University of Missouri released the results of a faculty job satisfaction survey that was administered by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) in the spring of 2022; the results show promising improvements. 

“We appreciate the valuable feedback from our faculty and the committee’s work in reviewing the data,” said Mun Choi, University of Missouri president. “We look forward to working with our faculty to make improvements and to continue to achieve excellence." 

The 2022 survey, completed by nearly 900 faculty (51% of eligible participants), identified three areas of strength — department collegiality, departmental and faculty leadership, and teaching — as well as two areas for development — senior leadership and shared governance. 

MU’s strengths were identified by COACHE as those areas the university scored first or second among five peer institutions and in the top 30% of the national cohort of 82 universities in 2022. Areas for development were those in which MU scored fifth or sixth among peers and in the bottom 30% of the national cohort.   

When compared to the 2019 survey, MU showed positive improvements related to faculty leadership (10.89% increase), departmental leadership (5.82%), departmental engagement (1.42%), promotion to full professor (1.12%) and departmental quality (1.12%). The survey also highlighted MU's successful transition to online/hybrid teaching with Mizzou outpacing the national cohort in support for developing and teaching online/hybrid courses.   

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Latha Ramchand convened a faculty committee to analyze the data obtained from the survey and recommend actions for improvement. 

“Mizzou uses the COACHE survey to better understand the needs of our faculty and their experiences at Mizzou as a place to work across several important areas,” said Shelly Rodgers, professor of strategic communication, the Maxine Wilson Gregory Chair in Journalism Research in the Missouri School of Journalism, and co-chair of the COACHE committee. “This vital feedback is critical to the university being able to achieve its academic mission and strategic objectives.” 

The survey provided the two priority areas for development along with recommendations on how to move forward. It also highlighted 28 accomplishments and initiativestied to the 2016 and 2019 results. These programs are aimed at improving faculty recruiting and retention, recognizing the outstanding work by faculty and providing more fellowships, cohorts, and professional development.   

“The COACHE survey results are the starting point for institutional change. The data from the survey helped our senior leaders create new initiatives which were developed and launched following the 2013, 2016 and 2019 surveys,” said Daryl Smith, associate teaching professor of management at the Trulaske College of Business and committee co-chair. “Many of these initiatives came from recommendations made by the COACHE committee, and I have every confidence that this time will be no different. The goal is to utilize the survey findings to make Mizzou a great place to work for all faculty, regardless of rank, teaching or research focus, academic unit, gender, race, national origin, or other factors.” 

“This survey is incredibly important because it provides direct feedback from our faculty about many of our most pressing concerns,” Ramchand said. “The survey results and the work of the committee will help us better understand faculty concerns so we can work to address the same. I am deeply grateful to the COACHE committee for their analysis and recommendations which we will implement.” 

For more than 10 years, COACHE at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has surveyed over 300 colleges and universities to understand the themes associated with faculty satisfaction. This is the fourth survey conducted at MU. 

The full Faculty Job Satisfaction Committee 2022 Executive Summary and Report is available on the Provost’s website.   

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