Grand Valley State University is committed to fostering an environment where faculty, staff, and students can thrive.  Feedback and insights are invaluable in helping us achieve this goal. We believe that faculty satisfaction plays a crucial role in the overall success of our institution. Their perspectives on various aspects of their academic journeys are vital to shaping a more fulfilling and supportive work environment.  For this reason, GVSU has joined The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) for 2023-2026.  This is a long-term project at the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, led by R. Todd Benson, focusing on faculty. 

As part of the collaboration, during Winter semester 2024, faculty were asked to participate in COACHE’s Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey.  COACHE will provide to GVSU diagnostic reports and regular consultations with the COACHE team on how to make meaning and act from the data.  In Fall 2024, GVSU faculty will be engaged to review the findings and to start to make changes. 

Over the past few years, the university has heard various feedback through faculty fora, the Climate Survey, and faculty governance. Now, we want to dive deeper to better understand how we can improve the faculty experience at GVSU. 

Key Points

  • COACHE’s Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey focuses specifically on the work of faculty. Support for teaching, research and service, shared governance, and appreciation and recognition for work are just some of the topics covered in the instrument. The survey is designed pragmatically. Every question links to practical campus issues. 

  • The survey is distinct from GVSU’s Climate Pulse Survey because it will help the campus community get a better sense of faculty perceptions of the workplace relative to the national labor market.  Results can inform an entire suite of different and better practices. 

  • GVSU will be part of a cohort of schools for this cycle of COACHE.  We can learn from other COACHE partners who have administered the survey in the past year. 

  • GVSU’s partnership with COACHE came from a recommendation from GVSU’s Network of Advisors initiative, as well as a desire for up-to-date data on faculty morale and workload. 

  • Full-time faculty (tenure-track and affiliate) will be surveyed, following the rules from the COACHE program.  Specifically, the survey will be sent to all regular and affiliate faculty, except for those in the first year of their appointment, in their terminal year after being denied tenure, or with a senior administrative appointment such as deans.

Steering Committee and Working Groups

Steering Committee Members for Spring/Summer/Fall 2024

Ed Aboufadel (chair), Office of the Provost

Jesse Bernal, Chief of Staff to the President and Vice President for Inclusion & Equity

Kathleen VanderVeen, Inclusion & Equity

Karyn Rabourn, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Counseling (CECI)

Emily Frigo, Senior Librarian

Figen Mekik, Professor, Geology (CLAS)

Martina Reinhold, Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Studies (CHP)

Kirk Anderson, Professor, Statistics (CLAS)

Farid Jafari, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering (PCE)

Zachary Kurmas, Associate Professor, School of Computing (CoC)

Krista Benson, Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Brooks) 

Kyle Brink, Associate Professor, Management (SCB)

Bree Chesser, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy (CHP)

Nancy Carlson, Senior Affiliate, Nursing (KCON)

Donovan Anderson, Associate Dean, CLAS

Aaron Lowen, Office of the Provost

Michele Coffill, University Communications

Data Communication with COACHE

Philip Batty (Director of Institutional Analysis)

Steering Committee Members for 2023-24

Ed Aboufadel (chair), Office of the Provost

Jesse Bernal, Chief of Staff to the President and Vice President for Inclusion & Equity

Michele Coffill, University Communications

Jennifer Drake, Dean, CLAS (through end of 2023)

Donovan Anderson, Associate Dean, CLAS (beginning December 2023)

Emily Frigo, Senior Librarian

Aaron Lowen, Office of the Provost

Oindrila Mukherjee, Associate Professor, Writing (CLAS)

Karyn Rabourn, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Counseling (CECI) (through end of 2023)

Martina Reinhold, Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Studies (CHP)

Christine Rener, Director, FTLC

Paul Stansbie, Associate Dean, CECI

Benjamin Walsh, Associate Professor, Management (SCB)

Kathleen VanderVeen, Inclusion & Equity

Communications Working Group, Fall 2023

Ed Aboufadel (lead), Michele Coffill, Len O'Kelly (Associate Professor, Communications), Karyn Rabourn, Benjamin Walsh

Custom Questions Working Group, Fall 2023

Kathleen VanderVeen (lead), Emily Frigo, Courtney Karasinski (Associate Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders; ECS Vice-Chair), Samah Mansour (Assistant Professor, CIS), Oindrila Mukherjee, Paul Stansbie

Page last modified May 21, 2024