About the 2020 Survey

The Baylor faculty had the opportunity to complete the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey, which provided actionable data about the conditions, the environment, policies, and practices that support faculty doing their best work. The survey launched nationally and at Baylor in February 2020, with the executive report released in October 2021.

COACHE Steering Committee 

Provost Nancy Brickhouse convened a COACHE steering committee in the fall of 2019 and charged the group to determine the relative satisfaction of Baylor faculty. This enabled the provost to better understand faculty experiences across ranks and classifications and guide the Institution in the implementation of Illuminate, the University’s academic strategic plan.

The COACHE steering committee worked to:

  1. Identify areas of faculty satisfaction and dissatisfaction by administering a Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey created by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE);
  2. Develop and implement a communication strategy for introducing COACHE to the Baylor faculty community and disseminating results;
  3. Customize additional survey questions that address Baylor-specific elements of work life; and
  4. Recommend evidence-based initiatives and responsive programs and resources.
Committee Members
  • Co-chairs:
    • Jason MacGregor, Hankamer School of Business (Accounting), Co-Chair
    • Lenore Wright, Honors College (BIC), Co-Chair
  • Lauren Barron, College of Arts & Sciences (Medical Humanities)
  • Andrea Dixon, Hankamer School of Business (Marketing)
  • Derek Dodson, College of Arts & Sciences (Religion)
  • Karen Kemp, Baylor Marketing & Communications
  • Horace Maxile, School of Music (Music Theory)
  • Jon Singletary, Dean, School of Social Work
  • James Stamey, College of Arts & Sciences (Statistics)
  • Kathleen Morley, Institutional Research
  • Meaghann Wheelis, Institutional Research
  • John Wood, College of Arts & Sciences (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • Ex-Officio
    • Brian Raines, College of Arts & Sciences (Mathematics and Dean’s Office) and Chair, Faculty Senate, ex-officio
    • Lori Baker, College of Arts & Sciences (Anthropology) and Office of the Provost, ex-officio

Baylor’s COACHE survey results were compared across 110 institutions nationwide in the survey cohort, across campus and relative to five peer institutions. The five peer institutions selected from the 2020 survey “cohort” represent a comparison set of those most similar to Baylor in the faculty labor market. Those “peer” universities included Emory University, Georgetown University, Saint Louis University, Tulane University, and Vanderbilt University. 

2020 Working Groups

The completion of Harvard University’s COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey last spring has provided a valuable source of data regarding areas of strength and areas where we needed to invest time and resources to improve the work lives of our faculty.

Faculty Satisfaction Working Groups engaged faculty in conversations and worked alongside the COACHE Steering Committee to further analyze the data from our COACHE survey to respond to four broad areas of faculty concern. The Working Groups and Steering Committee share a singular aim: to develop data-driven, faculty-led initiatives that will increase job satisfaction and strengthen shared governance. Together, we used our survey data to inform what we do collectively to enable the satisfaction that comes by being part of something bigger than yourself — building a Christian research university that is a “light to the world.”

Working Group Areas of Focus

Four distinct working groups addressed the following areas of faculty experience that could benefit from discussion and development as we worked together to move the University forward in its implementation of Illuminate.

  1. Decision Making Across all Levels 

    Matt Cordon, Working Group Leader
    Governance processes and procedures guide the decisions of academic leaders. Governance processes included formal structures and policies as well as informal norms that surround and shape decision-making practices, such as trust, adaptability, and understanding of the issues at hand. While Baylor faculty indicated high trust in senior leaders and a strong belief in a shared sense of purpose, 40 percent of faculty were less satisfied than faculty at peer institutions with input into departmental and divisional decisions.

  2. Mid-Career Uncertainty 

    Theresa Kennedy, Working Group Leader
    Mid-career uncertainty is typified by ambiguity about professional advancement after tenure and promotion. Mid-career uncertainty included unfamiliarity with promotion policies, unclear expectations for promotion, confusion about pathways for advancement, uneven mentoring for advancement, low valuing of career development, and lack of clarity about administrative opportunities. Associate professors indicated that one of the most difficult aspects of mid-career uncertainty is the unrelenting pressure to perform.

  3. Experiences of Underrepresented Minority (URM) Faculty 

    Patricia Wilson, Working Group Leader
    COACHE defines URM faculty as individuals who do not identify as White, non-Hispanic, or Asian/Asian-American. The URM category did not include women as they approximate the number of men on the faculty. COACHE data showed that in comparison to majority faculty, URM faculty reported less control over teaching assignments, heavier service commitments, lower valuing of scholarly expertise and achievements, limited integration into the academic community, and greater feelings of isolation. URM faculty at Baylor indicated a lower satisfaction than majority Baylor faculty and faculty at peer institutions in their ability to balance teaching, research, and service.

  4. Barriers to Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching 

    Peter Klein, Working Group Leader
    Universities organize faculty research and teaching into discrete academic units. While organizational structures supported fair resource allocation and facilitate distinctive scholarship and teaching, they also impeded collaborative work that transcends the limits of disciplinary thinking. Barriers to interdisciplinary research and teaching included non-collaborative evaluation and reward structures, insufficient infrastructure for interdisciplinary funding, and inflexible teaching assignments and loads. Baylor faculty expressed a lower interest in interdisciplinary work than faculty at peer institutions.

COACHE Executive Report

The COACHE Executive Report, a summary of work to address the areas of needed improvement identified through the 2020 survey, was released in October 2021 and is available at the link below.

Download Executive Report

2020 COACHE Survey Findings: Key Highlights

2020 COACHE Faculty Survey Response Rates

Baylor: 63%

Peers: 41%

Cohort: 44%

Satisfied with Time Spent on Research

Baylor: 55%

Peers: 54%

Cohort: 50%

Satisfied with Time Spent on Service

Baylor: 68%

Peers: 59%

Cohort: 56%

Satisfied with Time Spent on Teaching

Baylor: 85%

Peers: 80%

Cohort: 76%

Areas singled out as "concerns" at Baylor include:

Decision-making processes across all levels
Mid-career uncertainty
Experiences of underrepresented minority faculty
Barriers to Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching

Areas singled out for "best aspects" of Baylor include:

Quality of Colleagues
Quality of Undergraduate Students
Support of Colleagues
Departmental Collegiality
Facilities and Work Resources