GVSU Findings from the 2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey

 

Philip Batty, Director of Institutional Analysis

September 2011

 

Every three years, the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA conducts a national survey of higher education faculty members, to measure their opinions, activities, and satisfaction. GVSU faculty members have participated in every edition of the survey since its inception in 1989. Following is a summary of findings from the 2010-11 survey.

With the encouragement of the Provost and the University Academic Senate, GVSU faculty members were invited to participate in the HERI survey online in January of 2011. E-mail invitations were sent to all regular, visiting and affiliate faculty members (n=1,090). Completed surveys were received from 314 respondents, for a response rate of 29%. This is the same response rate achieved in 2007-08, but is well below the national response rate, estimated at 40%.

The respondent population is generally similar to the overall faculty with respect to age, ethnicity and college.  However, females were significantly more likely to respond than males, and tenured faculty are over-represented (at the expense of non-tenure-stream faculty; tenure-track faculty are represented in correct proportion). 

Following are descriptions of some thematic areas in which GVSU faculty responses differ from average responses of faculty at all public 4-year colleges nationwide. (Note that “4-year colleges” here means schools that award bachelor’s degrees, but are not significantly invested in doctoral education.  A full list of the included institutions can be found here.)  Themes are subject to interpretation, of course, and all readers are encouraged to review greater detail on GVSU faculty responses and national norms in the 2010-11 Faculty Survey Institutional Profile. Page numbers listed below refer to that document.

Effect sizes are measures of how “big” a relationship is.  With large samples, relationships may be statistically significant even though they have little practical meaning (for example, “People in Group A weigh ½ lb more than people in Group B”).   A larger effect size is generally an indication of practical significance.  In this report, effect sizes are reported for relationships that are statistically significant (p<0.05).  Unless otherwise noted, the effect size reported is a modified version of Cohen’s d, comparing the ordinal means for GVSU and the comparison group.  A positive value means the GVSU mean is significantly higher than the comparison mean;  a negative value means the GVSU mean is lower.  In this survey, any effect size with an absolute value below 0.2 would be considered small; any effect size above 0.5 represents a strong relationship.  A few effects are reported as an odds ratio (O.R.), which compares the probability of the given response among GVSU respondents to the comparable probability among respondents from all public 4-year schools.  For example, an odds ratio of 0.65 means that the given response is 65% as likely at GVSU as it is in the larger group.

Summary measures:

On questions about broad satisfaction, GVSU faculty indicated similar or slightly greater satisfaction than their peers.

 

 

GVSU

 

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

(if significant)

 

Page

If you were to begin your career again, would you still want to come to this institution? (“Definitely yes” or “Probably yes”

 

72.6%

 

65.8%

 

0.18

 

45

If you were to begin your career again, would you still want to be a college professor? (“Definitely yes” or “Probably yes”

 

87.9%

 

88.0

 

--

 

45

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Overall Job Satisfaction (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

76.3%

 

73.2%

 

--

 

63

 


 

Student Capabilities:

GVSU Respondents express considerably more appreciation for the preparedness of their students than their peers do.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Working with underprepared students  (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

72.1%

 

 

82.9%

 

 

-0.39

 

 

56

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Quality of students (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

66.7%

 

43.1%

 

0.47

 

59

Faculty feel that most students are well-prepared academically (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

54.0%

 

27.7%

 

0.53

 

64

Most of the students I teach lack the basic skills for college level work (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

27.7%

 

51.2%

 

-0.52

 

70

 

Faculty – Administration Relations:

GVSU respondents express substantially less dissatisfaction than peers with their relationship with university administration.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

Indicate how well each of the following describes your college or university: The faculty are typically at odds with campus administration (Ordinal Mean: 1=”Not Descriptive”; 3=”Very Descriptive”)

 

 

1.51

 

 

1.92

 

 

-0.56

 

 

46

Indicate how well each of the following describes your college or university Administrators consider faculty concerns when making policy (Ordinal Mean: 1=”Not Descriptive”; 3=”Very Descriptive”)

 

 

2.07

 

 

1.86

 

 

0.32

 

 

48

Indicate how well each of the following describes your college or university: The administration is open about its policies (Ordinal Mean: 1=”Not Descriptive”; 3=”Very Descriptive”)

 

 

2.11

 

 

1.92

 

 

0.27

 

 

48

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Institutional procedures and “red tape” (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

67.9%

 

 

73.5%

 

 

-0.13

 

 

53

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Institutional budget cuts (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

58.9%

 

 

84.8%

 

 

-0.81

 

 

57

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Clerical/administrative support (“Very Satisfied”)

 

28.4%

 

19.5%

 

0.15

 

63

Student Affairs staff have the support and respect of faculty (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

83.6%

 

75.6%

 

0.22

 

65

Faculty are sufficiently involved in campus decision making (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

69.3%

 

60.3%

 

0.21

 

68

 

Teaching Load:

GVSU respondents reported lower teaching loads than peers, with attendant reduced stress and increased satisfaction.  However, they were less likely to have had support from a GA.  GVSU faculty members were much more likely to report having taken a sabbatical.

 

 

GVSU

 

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

(if significant)

 

Page

How many courses are you teaching this term?

2.58

3.20

 

 

Test not possible

5

Average reported enrollment: General education course

 

34.2

 

48.5

 

5

Average reported enrollment: Course required for undergraduate major

 

32.1

 

28.5

 

5

Average reported enrollment: Graduate course

15.9

16.0

5

Have you engaged in any of the following professional development opportunities at your institution?: Paid sabbatical leave

 

44.9%

 

24.1%

 

O.R. = 1.98

 

6

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use each of the following?: Teaching Assistants (“Some” – “All”)

 

11.9%

 

20.7%

 

-0.18

 

21

During the present term, how many hours per week on average do you actually spend on each of the following activities?: Scheduled teaching (give actual, not credit hours) (Ordinal Mean: 1=”None”; 9=”45+”)

 

 

3.63

 

 

3.99

 

 

-0.30

 

 

36

During the present term, how many hours per week on average do you actually spend on each of the following activities?: Preparing for teaching (including reading student papers and grading) (Ordinal Mean: 1=”None”; 9=”45+”)

 

 

4.36

 

 

4.57

 

 

-0.13

 

 

36

During the present term, how many hours per week on average do you actually spend on each of the following activities?: Advising and counseling of students (Ordinal Mean: 1=”None”; 9=”45+”)

 

 

2.32

 

 

2.64

 

 

-0.33

 

 

37

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Teaching load (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

62.9%

 

 

71.5%

 

 

-0.22

 

 

53

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Teaching load (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

61.3%

 

46.0%

 

0.30

 

58

 

 

Ethnic and Gender Diversity:

GVSU Faculty members report some worrisome experiences and impressions, but also indicate both personal and institutional support for improving diversity and equity.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

I have been sexually harassed at this institution

7.3%

4.9%

O.R. = 1.54

43

This institution should hire more faculty of color (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

71.8%

 

66.9%

 

0.15

 

65

This institution should hire more women faculty (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

59.2%

 

52.7%

 

0.14

 

65

There is a lot of campus racial conflict here  (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

9.6%

 

7.5%

 

0.12

 

66

Faculty of color are treated fairly here

(Ordinal mean: 1=“Disagree strongly”; 4=“Agree strongly”)

 

3.25

 

3.38

 

-0.19

 

67

Gay and Lesbian faculty are treated fairly here (Ordinal mean: 1=“Disagree strongly”; 4=“Agree strongly”)

 

3.18

 

3.31

 

-0.18

 

68

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To create a diverse multi-cultural campus environment (Ordinal mean: 1=”Low priority”; 4=”Highest priority”)

 

 

2.62

 

 

2.49

 

 

0.15

 

 

73

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To promote gender equity among faculty (Ordinal mean: 1=”Low priority”; 4=”Highest priority”)

 

 

2.56

 

 

2.37

 

 

0.22

 

 

74

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To increase the representation of minorities in the faculty and administration (Ordinal mean: 1=”Low priority”; 4=”Highest priority”)

 

 

2.45

 

 

2.28

 

 

0.20

 

 

75

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To increase the representation of women in the faculty and administration (Ordinal mean: 1=”Low priority”; 4=”Highest priority”)

 

 

2.41

 

 

2.14

 

 

0.33

 

 

76

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To develop an appreciation for multiculturalism (Ordinal mean: 1=”Low priority”; 4=”Highest priority”)

 

 

2.76

 

 

2.50

 

 

0.30

 

 

76

A racially/ethnically diverse student body enhances the educational experience of all students (“Agree strongly”)

 

62.2%

 

56.2%

 

0.12

 

78

 

Professional Development:

Compared to peer faculties, the GVSU faculty reports higher participation in teaching workshops and expresses more satisfaction in the level of institutional support for professional development.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

During the past two years, have you engaged in any of the following activities?: Participated in a teaching enhancement workshop

 

77.0%

 

68.8%

 

O.R. = 1.13

 

4

Have you engaged in any of the following professional development opportunities at your institution?: Received incentives to develop new courses

 

13.7%

 

25.3%

 

O.R. = 0.53

 

7

Have you engaged in any of the following professional development opportunities at your institution?: Received incentives to integrate new technology into your classroom

 

 

14.4%

 

 

21.7%

 

 

O.R. = 0.65

 

 

7

Indicate how well each of the following describes your college or university: Faculty are rewarded for being good teachers (“Very descriptive”)

 

33.5%

 

18.5%

 

0.40

 

47

Indicate how well each of the following describes your college or university: Faculty are rewarded for their efforts to use instructional technology (“Very descriptive”)

 

28.9%

 

18.2%

 

0.29

 

48

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Prospects for career advancement (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

57.9%

 

50.8%

 

0.12

 

62

There is adequate support for faculty development (“Agree strongly” or “Agree somewhat”)

 

76.7%

 

61.2%

 

0.36

 

70

 

Job Security:

GVSU respondents expressed more satisfaction and less stress related to job security issues.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Personal finances (“Extensive”)

 

15.7%

 

20.9%

 

-0.14

 

51

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Job Security (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

32.4%

 

 

 

44.1%

 

 

-0.24

 

 

55

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following has been a source of stress for you during the last two years: Institutional budget cuts (“Extensive” or “Somewhat”)

 

 

58.9%

 

 

84.8%

 

 

-0.81

 

 

57

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Job security (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

82.7%

 

69.5%

 

0.28

 

61

How satisfied are you with the following aspects of your job?: Prospects for career advancement (“Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”)

 

57.9%

 

50.8%

 

0.12

 

62

 

External Funding:

The GVSU faculty indicates less support from external funding for scholarly work, and perceives it as less of an institutional priority than faculties at other public 4-year schools.  GVSU faculty members do perceive an institutional orientation toward private business, though.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

During the past two years, have you: Received funding for your work from foundations?

 

13.5%

 

19.9%

 

O.R. = 0.66

 

4

During the past two years, have you: Received funding for your work from state or federal government?

 

14.4%

 

26.6%

 

O.R. = 0.53

 

4

During the past two years, have you: Received funding for your work from business or industry?

 

4.5%

 

9.1%

 

O.R. = 0.48

 

4

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To pursue extramural funding (“Highest priority” or “High Priority”)

 

 

38.0%

 

 

48.3%

 

 

-0.18

 

 

75

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To strengthen links with the for-profit, corporate sector (“Highest priority” or “High Priority”)

 

 

50.9%

 

 

43.7%

 

 

0.16

 

 

75

 

Critical Thinking:

GVSU respondents report requiring fewer critical thinking behaviors in their courses, and assign less importance to information literacy.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Support their opinions with a logical argument (“Frequently”)

 

76.6%

 

83.3%

 

-0.18

 

13

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Seek solutions to problems and explain them to others (“Frequently”)

 

69.0%

 

73.2%

 

-0.12

 

13

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Evaluate the quality or reliability of information they receive (“Frequently”)

 

63.8%

 

71.6%

 

-0.21

 

14

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Seek alternative solutions to a problem (“Frequently”)

 

57.8%

 

62.4%

 

-0.15

 

14

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Explore topics on their own, even though it was not required for a class (“Frequently”)

 

 

47.5%

 

 

53.5%

 

 

-0.12

 

 

15

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Accept mistakes as part of the learning process (“Frequently”)

 

68.8%

 

77.7%

 

-0.23

 

15

In your interactions with undergraduates, how often do you encourage them to: Integrate skills and knowledge from different sources and experiences (“Frequently”)

 

 

75.4%

 

 

79.6%

 

 

 

-0.13

 

 

16

Indicate the importance to you of each of the following education goals for undergraduate students: Help students evaluate the quality and reliability of information (“Essential”)

 

 

56.2%

 

 

64.4%

 

 

-0.16

 

 

34

 

Classroom Methods:

GVSU respondents are less likely than peers to use extensive lecturing or multiple-choice exams, but also report less field work or recitals and demonstrations.  They report greater use of class discussions and small group work, and less online instruction.     

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

During the past two years, have you: Taught an exclusively web-based course at this institution

 

7.4%

 

24.5%

 

O.R. = 0.29

 

4

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Multiple-choice exams (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

2.09

 

2.26

 

-0.16

 

17

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Competency-based grading (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

2.39

 

2.54

 

-0.13

 

20

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Class discussions (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

3.57

 

3.46

 

0.13

 

20

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Cooperative learning (small groups) (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

3.19

 

2.93

 

0.25

 

20

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Experiential learning/Field studies (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

1.96

 

2.14

 

-0.18

 

21

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Recitals/Demonstrations (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

1.65

 

1.79

 

-0.14

 

21

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Extensive lecturing (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

2.26

 

2.40

 

-0.14

 

22

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Electronic quizzes with immediate feedback in class (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

1.32

 

1.43

 

-0.14

 

24

 

Community Service:

Compared to peers, GVSU respondents report slightly less activity supporting students’ involvement in community service, but perceive strong institutional engagement with the local community.

 

GVSU

Public 4-yr

Effect Size

Page

During the past two years, have you: Advised student groups involved in service/volunteer work

 

37.5%

 

48.5%

 

O.R. = 0.76

 

4

In how many of the courses that you teach do you use: Community service as part of coursework (Ordinal mean: 1=”None”; 4=”All”)

 

1.35

 

1.44

 

-0.13

 

23

Indicate the importance to you of each of the following education goals for undergraduate students: Instill in students a commitment to community service (“Essential” or “Very Important”)

 

 

46.9%

 

 

52.9%

 

 

-0.12

 

 

32

Indicate how important you believe each priority listed below is at your college or university: To create and sustain partnerships with surrounding communities (“Highest priority” or “High Priority”)

 

 

58.7%

 

 

49.4%

 

 

0.22

 

 

74

 

Goals for Undergraduate Education:

GVSU respondents attribute less value than peers to nearly all suggested goals for undergraduate education.

Indicate the importance to you of each of the following education goals for undergraduate students:

(Ordinal mean: 1=”Not important”; 4=”Essential”)

 

 

GVSU

 

 

Public 4-yr

 

 

Effect Size

 

 

Page

Prepare students for employment after college

3.19

3.31

-0.16

30

Develop moral character

2.85

3.02

-0.20

31

Provide for students’ emotional development

2.54

2.65

-0.13

31

Help students develop personal values

2.78

2.94

-0.19

32

Enhance students’ self-understanding

2.98

3.08

-0.12

32

Instill in students a commitment to community service

 

2.48

 

2.59

 

-0.12

 

32

Help master knowledge in a discipline

3.43

3.53

-0.16

33

Develop creative capacities

3.04

3.15

-0.14

33

Help students evaluate the quality and reliability of information

 

3.51

 

3.60

 

-0.16

 

34