Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
PA-12: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.20 / 1.00 Bill Hardgrave
Office of the Provost
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a survey or other evaluation that allows for anonymous feedback to measure employee satisfaction and engagement during the previous three years?:

Percentage of employees (staff and faculty) assessed, directly or by representative sample (0-100):

A brief description of the institution’s methodology for evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement:

Auburn uses the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, most recently in 2017. 44% of faculty (501 respondents) completed the survey.
COACHE surveys faculty about their experiences and views as regards several important areas of their work lives: Research, teaching, service; Resources in support of faculty work; Benefits, compensation, and work/life; Interdisciplinary work and collaboration; Mentoring; Tenure and promotion practices; Leadership and governance Departmental collegiality, quality, engagement; Appreciation and recognition.

A brief description of the mechanism(s) by which the institution addresses issues raised by the evaluation (including examples from the previous three years):

Issues raised in the COACHE survey of Auburn faculty included: • Spousal/partner hiring and flexible workload/modification duties
• On-campus child care
• Cultivation of new faculty leaders
• Support for faculty to be good mentors
• Rewarding interdisciplinary work in promotion, tenure, merit, budgets, and facilities.
To address these issues the university is doing the following:
Spousal/partner hiring and flexible workload/modification duties

Since 2013, the Provost’s Office has examined issues of a spousal/partner hiring policy as it relates to faculty recruitment and retention. Concerning faculty hires, the Provost’s Office works with academic units to accommodate any spousal/partner hires on an individual basis annually. In 2018, approximately eight spousal/partner hires were approved by the Provost’s Office. Faculty workloads are determined and approved by the department head and dean of each college/school.

On-campus childcare

In 2018, the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation announced plans to partner with a third-party provider to establish an on-campus childcare center, located in the Research Park. The facility will accommodate 225 children from ages six weeks to five years, in addition to after-school programming. The center will offer priority registration to university employees and tenants of the Research Park.

Cultivation of New Faculty Leaders

Since 2016, the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning has coordinated increased training for new and current departmental leaders. These sessions, both formal and informal, focus on enhancing departmental culture and address issues related to faculty recruitment and retention, budgeting, improving teaching and learning, improving the faculty annual review process, etc. In 2016, the university established a Faculty Fellow for Transformational Leadership to provide consistent development and support to departmental leaders. During its first year, training sessions with heads and chairs were created that included topics such as a general introduction to leadership, writing effective annual reviews, reading and managing budgets in Banner, and panel sessions on successful chairing.

Moreover, each fall, departmental leaders participate in the Provost’s Office academic yearly leadership retreat, with individual sessions hosted for incoming heads and chairs. The 2018 retreat addressed the following topics: (1) Building Diverse Candidate Pools and Inclusive Departmental Culture, (2) Elevating a Departmental Brand, (3) Facilitating Research: Integration and Interdisciplinary Collaboration, (4) Innovative Ways to Recognize & Support Faculty Work, (5) Institutional Research Resources for Deans and Chairs, (6) the Strategic Budgeting Process at Auburn University and (7) University-Wide Learning Research Questions (academic assessment).

Support for faculty to be good mentors

In addition to mentoring at the department and college/school levels, the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning sponsors multiple events that prepare graduate students and incoming faculty to become leaders and mentors. These include programs such as (1) Preparing Future Faculty, a program designed to prepare graduate students for academic careers by maximizing their time at Auburn through strategic planning, crafting job materials that open doors, and securing teaching experiences and development in evidenced-based practices and (2) New Faculty Scholars, a program that integrates several professional development opportunities to enhance new faculty success by increasing their knowledge of Auburn’s institutional culture and supporting interdisciplinary mentoring and informal networking opportunities.

Also, the Office of Women’s Initiatives provides programming and strategically collaborates and guides efforts to facilitate the recruitment, hiring (for employees), retention (including mentoring), and professional development of women across campus. Some of the programs include the Women’s Center, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Institute, and the Pathways to Full Professor and Beyond program. Each year the Women’s Center hosts the Women’s Leadership Conference and collaborates with units across campus to promote health and wellness of women.

Rewarding interdisciplinary work in promotion, tenure, merit, budgets, and facilities

Within the university structure, individual departments articulate guidelines for (1) the promotion and tenure of faculty and (2) the rewarding of interdisciplinary work as it relates to budgets and merit. While a college or department may choose to implement more rigorous standards than those detailed in the university-level promotion and tenure guidelines, the guidelines suggest ways of evaluating faculty accomplishments in research, teaching, and service by allowing flexibility in assigning relative weights to these three activities.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.