UI recognized for high level of pretenure faculty job satisfaction

Pretenure faculty at the University of Iowa are some of the most satisfied in academia, according to Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE).

COACHE recently released the names of its member colleges and universities with the highest levels of pre-tenure faculty job satisfaction. The list of institutions was based on data taken from the COACHE Tenure-Track Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey and focuses on specific dimensions of the work experiences of early-career faculty: tenure practices; clarity of institutional expectations for tenure; nature of faculty work overall, in research, and in teaching; work and home balance and supports; climate, culture, and collegiality; and global satisfaction.

“Our faculty and staff have worked hard to create a positive, welcoming environment for junior faculty. The results of this survey confirm their efforts,” says P. Barry Butler, UI interim executive vice president and provost.

UI Associate Provost for Faculty Tom Rice echoed Butler’s sentiments, saying that making the COACHE list means the University is “doing a lot of things right.”

“Much of the reason for the high levels of job satisfaction among our pretenure faculty is due to the commitment of our tenured faculty and our staff to the success of our new faculty—success in research, teaching, service, and family life. This commitment has led to many programs aimed at pretenure faculty achievement,” Rice says.

He pointed to UI programs and initiatives such as the Dual Career Network, automatic tenure-clock extension for bringing a child into the home for both mothers and fathers, and faculty mentoring as contributing factors to the high level of satisfaction.

Of 127 institutions participating in COACHE between 2006 and 2009, a total of 32 institutions were named an exemplar in at least one benchmark dimension. The University of Iowa was the only institution rated exceptional in five out of eight categories—the most of any university or college.

“I hope this motivates us to look for additional ways to make Iowa an even more welcoming institution for pretenure faculty, and a place where they can find support and success,” Rice says.

For more information or to see a complete listing of institutions visit www.coache.org.