Job-satisfaction survey elicits positive AC faculty feedback

A significant majority of Amarillo College faculty who responded in 2022 to a job-satisfaction survey developed at Harvard University said they were not only satisfied with their workplace, but that they would choose to work at AC if they had the opportunity to make the decision all over again.

That was just some of the positive feedback generated when AC renewed its partnership with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education through The Harvard Graduate School of Education to conduct the COACHE faculty survey. AC previously administered the COACHE survey to its full-time faculty in 2019.

AC’s most-recent faculty feedback additionally helped identify 14 categories that, when measured against a cohort of COACHE peer schools similar in makeup to AC, were deemed “areas of strength” – areas such as Departmental Collegiality and Engagement, Family Policies, and Health and Retirement Benefits.

COACHE defines “areas of strength” as any benchmark where an institution scores in the top 30 percent among its comparison group.

In all, 109 of AC’s 167 eligible full-time faculty participated in the survey, and 75 percent of them expressed overall satisfaction with AC as a workplace (up from 68 percent in 2019). Among AC’s peer cohort, only 66 percent of respondents expressed overall satisfaction with their places of work.

Even more striking, 82 percent of AC respondents said that they would choose to work at AC if asked to make the choice all over again, which compares to 73.5 percent among the peer group.

Overall, AC had just two “areas of concern” – scoring in the bottom 30 percent among its peer cohort – as faculty expressed some misgivings about clarity of and policies regarding tenure.

“The results of our survey were overwhelmingly positive and encouraging,” said Dr. Frank Sobey, associate vice president of academic affairs and survey coordinator. “We are not perfect and there are areas where we can improve, but our faculty has spoken and their overall satisfaction is clear.

“However, while gratifying, these results are but a foundation from which we will now launch discussions with a faculty task force and, over the next two and a half years, fully assess our strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “The point of this survey is to capture faculty sentiment with regard to teaching, service, research, engagement and much more, and to use that feedback to increase job satisfaction and help ensure the continued improvement of our academic workplace.”