Skip to main content


Dear Colleagues,

This website provides an update on the COACHE survey.   As you may recall, in spring 2016 Vanderbilt partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) to conduct a survey to identify both areas of success and challenges facing our faculty. COACHE is a highly regarded organization that has been operating out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2003. COACHE has surveyed more than 230 colleges, universities, systems and consortia.  It not only provided us a chance to assess the views of faculty, but we can compare our results to appropriate peers.

The 2016 survey provided information from faculty on such topics as the nature of work, resources and support, mentoring, interdisciplinary work, tenure and promotion, work and personal life balance, and faculty governance, among others. The survey included all full-time, tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty that report to the provost. It excluded senior administrators with faculty appointments, School of Medicine faculty employed by VUMC, and faculty in their first year at Vanderbilt. The survey was completed by 56 percent of the Vanderbilt faculty who were asked to participate, which was a high response rate.

Once the data were collected, we put in place a very transparent process to assess the findings.   A faculty working group was appointed to examine these data and issue a final report, which they did in September 2017.   I also asked each of the deans to identify members of their teams to examine the data for their school/college, drafting a report to share with me on their results.  With these various reports in hand, we have collectively identified specific action items.  In many cases, the initiatives were recently put in place or were in process.  In other cases, new plans are being rolled out. I encourage you to link to the pages below and see some of the efforts that are being taken by my office and by the deans to better support the teaching, research, and service of our amazing faculty.

Needless to say, I want to thank all of those involved in making the COACHE process a success.  In particular, I appreciate the efforts of the faculty working group (FWG) who analyzed and assessed the results of this campus-wide survey.  I also appreciate the efforts of the each of the deans and their teams for looking at what these data mean in regard to faculty support in their schools/colleges.  I very much look forward to continuing this process, which will include launching a second survey in the spring of 2019.   Those additional data will offer further insights into our faculty and, most importantly, how the actions have impacted faculty satisfaction over a 3-year period from 2016 to 2019

I encourage all faculty to spend some time on this website so as to learn about what we are working on and where additional actions might be needed.  Please share any and all feedback.  If you have specific suggestions, you can click below and send them to my office.  You can also make suggestions in person.  I am, for example, available during my “Open Dore, On Location” sessions that are held across campus. I also periodically attend school/college faculty meetings for question/answer sessions. And lastly, as always, feel free to email to share your feedback.

Thanks again for checking out this website and, more importantly, for helping to make Vanderbilt a world class university.


Susan R. Wente

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs