University of Delaware

Climate Survey Forum

Using data to improve climate, bolster research

The University of Delaware ADVANCE Institute will host a panel discussion on the results of the 2016 Faculty Climate Survey on Sept. 20, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held in Smith Hall, room 140. Anyone from the University community may attend.

The biannual faculty climate survey, launched in 2014, is sent to all full-time faculty to learn more about campus climate, faculty satisfaction and other factors that impact faculty development.

Provost Domenico Grasso will open the forum with brief remarks followed by a presentation of key survey results by Shawna Vican, director of UD ADVANCE. Topics include degree of professional satisfaction, attitudes toward the promotion and tenure process, mentoring, work-life balance and diversity. Vican will discuss implications of the findings for UD and how UD ADVANCE is working to address these issues.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience moderated by Pam Cook, UD ADVANCE Principal Investigator (PI).

Panelists include:

  • Calvin Keeler, president of American Association of University Professors – UD Chapter
  • Martha Buell, president of the Faculty Senate
  • Carol Henderson, vice provost for diversity
  • Matt Kinservik, vice provost for faculty affairs
  • Robin Andreasen, UD ADVANCE co-PI

The ADVANCE team will also discuss the upcoming spring 2018 faculty climate survey. All faculty will be encouraged to complete the survey as a large response rate enables the University to gain a more accurate picture of experiences of faculty and also provide more meaningful research.

An example of research based on the 2014 faculty climate survey is the paper “Gender Differences in Pathways to Faculty Career Satisfaction,” written by Heather Doty, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Robin Andreasen, associate professor of linguistics and cognitive science, and Dandan Chen, a doctoral candidate in the School of Education.

Relying on UD survey data, the authors used path analysis to determine the importance of various aspects of faculty work-life on career satisfaction and potential gender differences in these areas. The researchers found that effective institutional leadership and organizational mentoring influence job satisfaction for both men and women faculty. The effectiveness of the department chair is a factor especially relevant for women faculty.

The study was awarded the Denise Denton Best Paper Award at the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education annual meeting.

The researchers plan to use the results to improve the campus climate for women faculty, especially in fields where they are underrepresented. Due to limitations in sample size, researchers could not explore pathways to career satisfaction for faculty of color.

About the UD ADVANCE Institute

The UD ADVANCE Institute is aimed at implementing large-scale, comprehensive change to increase the representation and advancement of a diverse faculty workforce. It is supported by a five-year Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation.