How can colleges boost faculty engagement?
- According to a recent study, 52% of faculty members reported they were "not engaged" with their own work, and 14% of faculty reported they were "actively disengaged."
- A new separate survey, which was conducted by Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group in collaboration with Cornerstone OnDemand and Ellucian, asked more than 500 higher ed leaders about workforce engagement practices.
- Faculty and staff engagement can have an impact on student outcomes, so it is imperative that colleges and universities work to focus on this critical area of management.
Faculty at colleges and universities may be feeling increasingly disengaged due to some of the ominous indications of the job security and future for the profession on a variety of fronts, and school leaders may be able to bolster their spirits and engagement levels if they can advocate to make changes that assure faculty feel more secure about their futures. Tenure protections at many public colleges and universities have been endangered in recent years, including in states like North Dakota and Wisconsin. Faculty in other states may be dismayed by the tone of debates on tenure protections, believing it suggests dim prospects for their own job future. School leaders for public and private institutions could try to continue to push for financial support for tenure protections or other amenities that would be conducive to retaining faculty; they could make the argument to policymakers that higher retention rates among faculty will lead to a more attractive campus for more qualified student applicants in the long run.
leaders can also find ways to boost engagement with faculty members by ensuring that there is faculty buy-in when it comes to potential changes in institutional policies and practices. College presidents assert that such buy-in can make the implementation of those changes more fluid, but an ancillary benefit could be that educators would feel more ownership and responsibility towards the institution, raising the chances that they will feel invested enough to continue working there. School leaders can also look to create "leadership incubators" like the Rutgers Leadership Academy, which offers educators a potential path to enter the pipeline towards attaining positions in higher ed administration. The program is offered at institutions like the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina, and the need for leadership tracts was echoed by Freeman Hrabowski, the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in an Education Dive interview earlier this year. He said his institution's use of "shared governance" helps school leaders work with educators, as opposed to a relationship based on opposition, which could make for a happier and more productive campus environment, which could help in boosting retention and engagement rates among staff.
- University Business Fostering Employee Engagement and Retention in Higher Ed