National survey rates Auburn ‘exemplary’ for junior faculty

AUBURN – For the second year in a row, a Harvard-based educational collaborative rates Auburn University among the best workplaces in America for tenure-track junior faculty.

In a survey of workplace conditions for faculty working toward tenure, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education rated AU as “exemplary” in three categories: tenure practices overall, tenure reasonableness and policy effectiveness overall.

This was the second set of survey results released by the educational collaborative. In results reported in December 2006, AU was rated among the top institutions for junior faculty satisfaction with their institutions in terms of career progress, colleagues and institutional support.

“The COACHE surveys show that Auburn is a very attractive place for faculty as well as students,” said AU President Jay Gogue. “Talented, young Ph.D.’s with outstanding potential will look to these surveys in choosing the universities where they will settle and develop that potential. We expect that they will pay extra attention to institutions, like Auburn, that have earned the ‘exemplary’ rating.”

The collaborative, which uses the acronym COACHE, measured factors affecting workplace quality at 78 member institutions with almost 7,000 tenure-track faculty members. The 56 universities and 22 liberal arts colleges were evaluated in separate categories.

Member universities include several Ivy League schools, private institutions such as Duke and Stanford and major state universities such as Ohio State and Minnesota, plus universities in the California and North Carolina systems.

Auburn was among 10 universities rated exemplary in terms of policy effectiveness overall. Others earning the rating were Duke, North Dakota State, Ohio State, Stanford, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Notre Dame.

Auburn also was among eight universities rated as exemplary for tenure practices overall. Other large institutions earning that rating included North Carolina State, Ohio State and Kansas. Those three institutions, plus AU and the University of Virginia, were among 10 universities in the exemplary category for tenure reasonableness, a component of the other categories.

The latest study focused on the satisfaction levels of junior faculty toward workplace issues that are critical to professional advancement.

Junior faculty are instructors or assistant professors who are working toward tenure, which institutions must award within seven years in most cases. Faculty who fail to attain tenure cannot continue teaching at that institution and have to start over at another institution or leave the profession.

Drew Clark, executive director of AU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, noted that approximately 120 junior faculty at Auburn, two-thirds of eligible faculty, responded to the survey. “With such solid participation and such strong ratings in relation to other universities, it is fair to say that Auburn University is a great place to do academic work,” Clark added.

The collaborative conducted the survey in 2005 and 2006, analyzed the data over the past year and published the results in the report “Top Academic Workplaces 2005-2007.” The report is available online at

Contact: Roy Summerford, (334) 844-9999 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (