Using Data from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education to Monitor Progress in Gender Equity


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The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) is a national project focused on improving faculty recruitment, development, and retention. Run out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Collaborative surveys faculty at participating institutions about their experiences with tenure and promotion, collegiality, recognition, mentoring, work/life balance, and other aspects of faculty work. Institutions receive an analysis of the responses of their faculty and benchmark data from comparable institutions, and have the option to receive a copy of the data set for additional analyses. Virginia Tech has participated in the COACHE survey four times, using the data to identify areas of inequity and implement interventions. In the first year of participation, the survey identified faculty concerns about the clarity of expectations for tenure and promotion and dissatisfaction with work/life balance. In response, AdvanceVT organized workshops on the promotion process and reviewed and revised work/life balance policies. In subsequent surveys, college and department level analyses revealed variations in perceptions of equity and collegiality across the institution. Data is shared with deans and department heads to design and implement follow-up actions.