January 23, 2017
Dear faculty colleagues,
In an effort to better understand faculty job satisfaction at UT Austin, we will begin administering a survey this week by email to a representative population of faculty across campus.
If you receive this survey, I highly encourage you to participate as we work to better understand the challenges you face and provide improved support.
This survey research is part of the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), a national program operating from the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2003. Participation will entail completing a 25-minute, web-based survey.
This survey is anonymous. Your email from COACHE will include a unique link, and they will not use your name or email addresses for any purposes except to administer this research.
While there are many surveys that faculty are asked to complete, this one was designed entirely to determine your current job satisfaction compared to faculty at peer institutions. Your views are critical as we strive to attract and retain the best and brightest scholars and teachers, increase the satisfaction of current faculty at every level, and to make UT Austin a great place to work.
In a process approved by the institutional review boards at Harvard and UT Austin, COACHE will provide their summary analysis to UT Austin by the end of the spring semester, as well as the confidential unit-record database, stripped of names and email addresses. The data provided to UT Austin will be received and kept on a secure server managed by the Office of Institutional Reporting, Research and Information Systems (IRRIS).
Neither I, nor any administrator, staff or faculty member outside IRRIS will have access to the unit-record data. IRRIS will explore and analyze broad patterns in the data to assist with planning and developing improved academic policies and practices across campus.
To protect confidentiality and guarantee that the results of this survey cannot influence personnel decisions about individual faculty members, IRRIS staff will disseminate survey results only with data aggregated in cells of five respondents or more, so that individual faculty and individual departments cannot be identified.
An important note regarding how departments and units are defined in this survey: Questions that refer to "department" should be understood as "department/unit" for non-departmentalized schools.
We welcome this opportunity to learn from an independent, research-driven, comparative study. However, data from the COACHE study will be meaningful only if we have broad participation.
This week, participants will receive an email from COACHE (firstname.lastname@example.org), with a link to the survey. If you have any questions, please contact Del Watson at email@example.com, or COACHE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this study, and helping us better understand how we can best support our faculty.
Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin