Institutional Research News

COACHE Focus on Pre-Tenure Faculty

Posted by Jessica Stowell on August 22, 2016

The sharing of Spring 2015 COACHE data with the campus community during the 2015-16 academic year led to many discussions, additional questions and a determination to focus on recruiting and retaining talented junior (pre-tenure) faculty. 
A re-analysis of the data focusing on satisfaction of junior faculty and comparisons with our senior faculty as well as junior faculty at our peer institutions and other universities was conducted over the summer.  This analysis identified three themes in addition to six benchmarks where our junior faculty experienced dissatisfaction.
UNCA identified themes:

  • Equitability
    • Teaching load
    • Committee assignments
    • Department addresses substandard tenured faculty performance
  • Balance
    • Teaching, research and service
    • Personal and professional life
    • Institution does what it can to make family life and academic career compatible
  • Outreach/external collaboration
    • with faculty outside your institution
    • expectations for tenure unclear
    • recognition for outreach
  • COACHE benchmarks
    • Nature of work: Research
    • Nature of work: Service
    • Personal and Family policies
    • Benefits
    • Interdisciplinary work
    • Department Quality

Some findings were surprising.  For example, junior faculty are more satisfied with number of committees and time spent on service than senior faculty and they are less satisfied with the attractiveness of committees they serve on, discretion to choose committees, and equitability of committees. 

Despite identifying some areas to improve, the report also demonstrates high satisfaction with a number of areas:

  • Influence over focus of research and teaching
  • Portion of time spent on teaching
  • Number and quality of students in classes
  • Office facilities
  • Opportunities for collaboration with faculty on campus
  • Effectiveness of mentoring
  • Tenure decisions are made primarily on performance
  • Expectations of teaching to earn tenure are clear
  • Intellectual vitality of pre-tenure faculty in the department
  • Recognition for teaching and advising
  • Visible leadership for diversity on campus
  • If I had it to do all over, would choose UNCA again

This report was presented to Chairs and Program directors on August 22 and can be found on the IREP Surveys website. Additional presentation and discussion over this report will be scheduled for some time in October.
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