In 2015, BMCC and CUNY administered the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey for the first time. In Spring 2019, CUNY and BMCC are planning to administer the survey again to all fulltime faculty across the University. This site collects the survey results for BMCC and the college’s response to the information it received.
Results of the 2015 Survey
The overall survey report, called the Provost’s Report and posted below, reports the survey results and compares BMCC responses to those at other CUNY community colleges and with CUNY overall. The best things about working at BMCC are its diversity and geographic location, with the quality and support of colleagues also rating highly. The most often cited negative is the teaching load (cited by 45% of respondents), followed by the limited support for research and compensation. (The survey was conducted while the faculty were working without a contract. Since then, the contract was settled and a teaching load reduction was negotiated. The teaching load reduction is being phased in and will be felt in full at BMCC in 2019-20).
The table below shows the benchmarks, and how BMCC scored. A red dot means it’s an area of concern for the college. The yellow and orange bars show significant differences in responses for some segments of the faculty population.
In November 2015, then Provost Karrin Wilks convened a task force to review the results of the job satisfaction survey. As she engaged faculty in analyzing the survey results in an email to the campus:
“Based on our initial analysis of the survey results, we will establish working groups to focus on three key areas: support for research, support for interdisciplinary activity, and governance. We are looking for volunteers to work primarily in February to clarify issues and draft recommendations for improvement in each of these areas.”
Each of the three groups researched the issues and interviewed or surveyed more faculty. The reports from each group are posted below.
In response to the survey, some of the actions taken by the college include,
- Establishing a Research Advisory Committee with representation from each department, to advise the Office of Faculty Affairs;
- Creating an RFP to incentivize cross-disciplinary activity, through the Office of Faculty Affairs;
- And establishing a faculty-administration task force to review the college’s Governance Plan and make any recommendations for changes.
- Reorganizing support for teaching and research under the Associate Dean for Faculty (Jim Berg).
- Establishing with the Academic Senate the Distinguished Teaching Award to recognize excellence and innovation in teaching.
In addition, the Office of Faculty Affairs has improved its communication with faculty through a new web site and blog, and has piloted a networked mentoring project to increase the availability of mentors for new and tenure-track faculty outside of their home departments.
More work needs to be done to gather information from fulltime faculty about what is working and what isn’t. For the 2019 survey, BMCC has the opportunity to ask campus-specific questions. A steering committee will be working in Fall semester to engage faculty in defining areas for further questions. Final questions will be proposed for the President’s approval.
The Steering Committee will be chaired by Eda Henao, Modern Languages; Christopher Shults, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, and Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty. Members will be added soon. For more information on the survey, contact Associate Dean Jim Berg.
The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is a research-practice partnership and network of peer institutions dedicated to improving outcomes in faculty recruitment, development, and retention. Under COACHE, more than 250 colleges, universities, and state systems have strengthened their capacity to identify the drivers of faculty success and implement informed changes.
Through over a decade of work with senior faculty administrators, COACHE has a unique understanding of faculty needs and the intricacies of life in the collegiate environment. Based on scholarly literature, interviews with faculty, and focus groups with senior academic administrators, the COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey was crafted by and for academic affairs individuals.