COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey Results and Next Steps

Faculty Senate President Nate Brunsell, University Senate President Ani Kokobobo, and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, 12:05 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty

Sent on behalf of Faculty Senate President Nate Brunsell, University Senate President Ani Kokobobo, and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer.


Dear Colleagues,

Last spring, the Office of Faculty Affairs administered a survey of Faculty Job Satisfaction through the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). This is the university’s first such survey in over a decade. It included both tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. It was also the first systematic assessment of the faculty experience since COVID-19. In keeping with best practices at peer institutions, university leaders are committed to surveying faculty regularly in future years.

Thanks to your engagement, KU’s total official response rate was 46% — a rate higher than the five institutions selected as peer comparisons (Indiana University, Iowa State University, the University of Buffalo, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill). Interested readers will find a table at the bottom of this message that provides more information about KU’s response rates by faculty type. With the estimated average survey completion time of 22 minutes, these rates correspond to nearly 200 hours of faculty effort. We thank you for the time you devoted to your responses.

Notable Omission

Due to a coding error, 105 unclassified academic staff were inadvertently omitted from the COACHE survey invitation list. Because the intention behind the survey was to include all faculty, of all ranks and job classifications, we will work to ensure that these faculty voices are also included in the results and outcomes of the study. In consultation with the COACHE administrator, Dr. Todd Benson at Harvard University, we will recreate a version of the survey that can be administered to the faculty who were omitted. We will then incorporate the results from that assessment into the overall recommendations.

Results and Next Steps

The COACHE preview report, which contains an executive summary of the results, is now available online. The data from the survey provide a snapshot in time that captures recent experiences and perceptions of faculty members at KU. The data reveal faculty appreciation of colleagues, as well as significant faculty dissatisfaction with wages, senior leadership, and with research support.

The COACHE data provide a path for the university to take concrete action, and university leaders are committed to working together to understand and act upon these results. To this end, the Provost and University Governance have worked in partnership to create a COACHE team that will adopt a data-centered institutional response. The team member selections balance data expertise, disciplinary diversity, and representation of different ranks and positions within the university, with the goal of engaging a range of diverse constituencies on campus to work together toward solutions. The details of this process and the membership are posted online. Some members of the group have already devoted significant time to learning about best practices and the analyses of data. We plan to act together to formulate recommendations that improve faculty working conditions, devising solutions for you and with you. The COACHE team will engage with a variety of campus groups to ensure we put all our best ideas forward.

Coming to terms with our individual and collective dissatisfaction is not an easy task, but transparency in confronting these issues is a necessary step as we move forward together to address the challenges that the survey has revealed. An engaged and supported faculty is essential to our identity and our success as a research institution. Investing in our faculty both directly and indirectly contributes to making KU a stronger institution for all of its constituents.

You will soon hear from the COACHE team with more detailed data reporting and opportunities to address solutions.


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Nate Brunsell

Faculty Senate President

Ani Kokobobo

University Senate President


KU Response Rates by Faculty Type
    Overall Pretenure Tenured Nontenured
KU population 1136 160 757 219
  respondents 527 61 373 93
  response rate 46% 38% 49% 42%
Select Peers response rate 42% 46% 47% 36%
Cohort Peers response rate 42% 46% 45% 36%