The Harvard Faculty Climate Survey is designed to provide insights into the working environment for faculty, both in an absolute sense and relative to colleagues at peer institutions. Major sections of the survey focus on satisfaction, atmosphere, tenure, mentoring, and work/life balance. Our hope is to identify areas of comparative strength as well as areas of concern. Identifying areas that represent major stresses for faculty is a necessary first step in the development of policies and practices that can address them. The results of Harvard’s first faculty climate survey (conducted in 2006), were the driving force behind many policy and practice changes that have occurred during the past six years, especially in the domains of faculty mentoring, childcare, and parental leave.
Participating in the survey is an excellent opportunity to provide feedback to your School and the University on what it is doing well and where it needs to make improvements. Your responses will inform the University’s policies and practices going forward.
A high response rate is critical to the success of the survey for two reasons. First, in order to draw valid conclusions from the survey results, the survey respondents must be representative of the general population – a high response rate will ensure that this is the case. Second, since results will not be reported for groups smaller than five individuals, a high response rate is necessary to ensure that meaningful analyses can be shared with faculty and administrators.
All current faculty members who are employed by Harvard University and have been faculty members at Harvard since September 1, 2011 are eligible to take the survey.
Questionnaire development was a collaborative effort coordinated by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity involving the Office of Institutional Research as well as a broad range of faculty from across the University. Some questions are tailored specifically to Harvard; others were written in collaboration with peer institutions (e.g., MIT, Stanford, Yale). The instrument has been vetted by the Deans and the leadership teams of each School.
Yes, multiple drafts of the survey instrument have been reviewed and revised by the academic and faculty affairs deans of each school as well as a sampling of faculty across the schools.
Yes, this project has been reviewed and given an exempt status by the Harvard Committee on the Use of Human Subjects in Research.
The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.
No, you can stop the survey and return to it at a later time (as many times as you wish), while the University is conducting the survey. Your prior responses will be saved, so that you will be able to review your previous responses and complete any questions you did not answer. You will also be able to change your responses to questions you have already answered.
No, you can skip any question that you do not wish to answer.
The survey is being administered by the MIT Web Survey Service, which is part of MIT's Office of the Institutional Research (IR). The service is run by Jagruti S. Patel, Associate Director of Institutional Research. All staff in MIT IR are trained in Research Involving Human Subjects, and they run confidential surveys for MIT and other higher educational institutions. For more information about MIT's Web Survey Service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MIT Web Survey Service has run surveys for a large number of institutions, including all of our Ivy League peers, Duke, and Stanford. The MIT Web Survey Service also administers all of the surveys for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, of which Harvard is a member.
Recognizing that full participation requires assurance of complete confidentially, we have outsourced the administration of the instrument to the Web Survey Service at MIT. The MIT Web Survey Service has run surveys for a large number of institutions, including all of our Ivy League peers, Duke, and Stanford. The MIT Web Survey Service also administers all of the surveys for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, of which Harvard is a member.
Your unique URL provides an additional measure of security for the survey. It enables MIT to ensure that no unauthorized individual fills out the survey, and that no individual is able to fill out the survey multiple times.
No, you should not share your unique URL with anyone. Each faculty member must use his or her own URL to enter the survey. The link reflects your rank and School (because tenured, ladder, and non-ladder faculty are being asked somewhat different questions). Despite the fact that the link is specifically assigned to you, please be assured that School and University faculty and leadership will never be able to associate your name with your responses.
If you have misplaced your unique URL, please email email@example.com for a link reminder.
Respondents who are passing responses to the survey database are directed to the survey via a secure link, Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which is an encryption tool. Survey response data will reside on the web survey server at MIT, which is stored in a secure facility on MIT’s campus and is monitored 24 hours-per-day and 7 days-per-week by network operations personnel. Survey response data will reside on a secure Harvard University Central Administration server.
No, the Web Survey Service at MIT will destroy all participant information and survey data collected at MIT for this survey.
Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research will be responsible for data analysis and has procedures in place for keeping all data strictly confidential. No other individuals at Harvard will have access to any individual level data. Only aggregate data (e.g., responses from groups with at least five faculty members) will be shared with University and School administrators and faculty.
Harvard University plans to share the anonymous record level faculty survey data with peer institutions. This data sharing occurs through agreements with individual institutions, or through the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE). In either case, faculty survey data will not be shared with personal identifiers, and only institutional researchers at peer institutions who have also shared their institution’s anonymized data will have access to the record level data.
Furthermore, AAUDE has very strict rules regarding data confidentiality. In particular, institutions must include at least five peer Schools in their analysis and the names of these peer Schools must be masked. Only aggregate data can be reported (i.e. only responses from groups with at least five faculty members can be shared).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the survey.