Dear Faculty Colleagues,

One of our overarching priorities at WSU is to foster a workplace that is valued by our faculty, students, and staff. There is no doubting that the pressures of an academic career are significant – especially during periods of constraint such as those we have experienced in the past few years. Nonetheless it is important that we continuously strive to do more to support our community and periodically assess what further might be done at the department, division, or university-wide level.

Earlier this year, WSU was one of many institutions to join the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which administered a survey of job satisfaction to our faculty. In this effort, locally coordinated by Doug Call (Senior Vice Provost), surveys were sent to approximately 1,500 individuals, and the response rate was 51.3% and the completion rate was 41.5%. The overall response rate for all institutions participating in this survey was 48%.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. I appreciate that time is a precious resource, and all of us in the Provost’s Office are committed to making your contribution to this effort be worth every minute.

Survey responses are grouped into several themes, including the nature of the teaching, research, and service aspects of faculty work; the clarity and reasonableness of our tenure and promotion processes; satisfaction with personal and family supports; levels of climate and collegiality; and other aspects of your work-life.

Later this year, COACHE will send to us a comprehensive report of the findings, including results at peers and among a large cohort of similar institutions. The Provost’s Office will be convening a task force responsible for assisting me in interpreting and responding to the detailed findings when they arrive. You may follow our progress here. In the meantime, we welcome all comments and your suggestions on how we can organize the campus community around disseminating, discussing, and acting upon the survey results toward keeping WSU a great place to advance the work and success of all faculty.


Elizabeth S. Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President
Chancellor, WSU Pullman
Professor, Department of Anthropology