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Faculty Climate Survey

2017 ADVANCE Faculty Climate Survey: Executive Summary

The ADVANCE Social Science study contributes to achieving the goals of the Center for ADVANCING Faculty Success by providing information to decision makers on faculty perceptions of factors such as equity, work-family supportiveness and diversity climate.

Method:

The ADVANCE social science team (Drs. Leanne Atwater and Alan Witt) developed and deployed a web-based survey that took participants approximately 15 minutes to complete. Data collection occurred in late November/early December 2017.

The ADVANCE Social Science Survey 2017 was the second iteration of the survey geared towards tenured and tenure track faculty only. The 2017 survey response rate was above 50%, with response rates by college ranging from 38% to 74%.

Figure 1. Response rates by College

Advance Survey Results

Analyses and Results:

Survey data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression-based analyses. Between the 2015 and 2017 iterations of the survey, only minimal overall changes in faculty perceptions were observed. The most significant change was observed in the area of helping behaviors faculty displayed towards others (which was higher in 2017).

Main survey findings were:

  1. Women faculty and faculty of color perceived UH systems, policies and procedures as less transparent, equitable and fair than their male and non-minority counterparts.
  2. Perceptions of coworker support were linked to employee well-being, faculty members’ social engagement in the UH community, and diversity climate, pointing to the need to further enhance the levels of support coworkers are able to provide to one another.
  3. Faculty concerns about levels of transparency and fairness in decision making were voiced through the survey, and were more pronounced in some units than in others.
  4. Effectiveness of department chairs as unit supervisors focused on the promotion of individual faculty members’ success varies widely, potentially requiring dedication of further resources towards enhancing some department chairs’ administrative skill sets.

Actions taken and Actions Planned: ADVANCE 2018/2019

The Provost’s office and ADVANCE have initiated programs to address issues raised through the faculty climate survey. Interventions include (challenge stated in parentheses):

  • Create and support a Women of Color Coalition (addresses survey finding 1)
  • The Provost has continued her Competitive Salary Initiative, demonstrating strong commitment to equity and transparency in procedures (addresses survey finding 1, 3)
  • Mid-career workshops support women and women of color in working towards promotion to Full Professor (addresses survey findings 1 and 3)
  • The modified APR process ensures transparent and timely annual feedback for faculty at the department level (addresses survey finding 3)
  • The program providing faculty with the opportunity to shift their workloads when they give birth to a child or adopt has been modified, resulting in a requirement for all workload reallocation to occur in a manner compatible with the faculty members’ long-term career objectives (addresses survey findings 1, 3)
  • Going forward, faculty search committees will benefit from stronger institutional support – search committee training will be made available to all search committee members, rather than just search committee chairs (addressing survey finding 2)
  • Through ADVANCE, we are developing ally training programs for faculty interested in further supporting their women and faculty of color colleagues. These training programswill provide participants with specific behavioral skills they can use to show support and contribute to their unit’s climate (addressing survey finding 2)
  • ADVANCE has provided training on family-friendly UH policies and programs to department chairs and will, in conjunction with the Office for Faculty Engagement and Development, work on programming geared towards supporting chairs as effective leaders who view the success of their faculty as the most critical outcome of their role as department chair (addresses survey finding 4, 3, 1).

Do you have further questions about the Social Science Study or ADVANCE? Please contact the ADVANCE Office at 3-4210 or email Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller, Professor of Psychology and Managing Director for the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success at cspitzmu@central.uh.edu.