Monthly Report April 2024

Report on COACH survey

From: Dr. Urszula Golebiewska, Chair, Committee on Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness

To:     Prof. Philip Nelan, Secretary, Steering Committee of the Academic Senate

Date: April 18, 2024

Subject: Assessment Committee Report on the COACH Survey


The Committee on Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness prepared and approved the following report:

Charged by the Academic Senate to conduct a thorough review of the COACHE survey results and to submit a report of its findings, the Senate Committee on Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness conducted its review over the fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters.

The overall concern of the committee is the college’s low response rate.  It is very important that, when the survey is conducted again, the college do a broader appeal to the campus faculty to complete the survey, as the results are essential to addressing faculty concerns.
In addition, based on its review, the committee offers the following recommendations to address some of the survey results and committee findings:
  • Establish a structured mentorship process, including guidelines for mentors and mentees and reward for mentoring of junior faculty during the promotion process.
  • Create structured opportunities for collaboration in research and teaching between senior and pre-tenured faculty, including encouraging joint research projects.
  • Foster collaborations in pedagogical research, teaching practices, and assessment among faculty at different career stages.
  • Promote more meaningful recognition of teaching during the tenure and promotion process.  
  • Enhance transparency in faculty committee assignments at the college and implement a mechanism to highlight the contributions of committee members during tenure and promotion evaluations.
Below is the committee’s report on the survey results.

 Full Report:

The COACH survey was conducted at QCC in 2023. 

The Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness Committee was tasked with the review of the results. The committee divided the survey by thematic categories and each member was assigned one category to investigate and identify most concerning issues. The committee met and held several discussions on the survey overall and on specific issues.


The first concern was the very low response rate. Overall, only 31% participated; in comparison, the peer institution had a response rate of 49% and the cohort 52%. The response was low across all the categories and probably didn’t result in any group expressing their concerns at disproportionately higher rate. The low response rate makes it impossible to compare answers between different departments. In the future, steps should be taken to increase the response rate. The survey is very long and this could be a factor lowering the response rate. 


Some thematic areas that were scored low by the participants are beyond the College control and we will mention those just in passing, maybe it is possible to not include these topics in future surveys. Some areas that scored low would require additional funds to remedy, we will describe them. For some there are remedies that could be undertaken.  

We will start with the thematic areas that are the least likely to be addressed.   

The “Retention and Negotiations” thematic breakthrough in general scored favorably. No real concerns. There is no room for re-negotiating salaries outside of the contractual changes and promotions. The biggest fraction of responders anticipating leaving the institution in coming years indicate retirement as the reason.  

In the “Resources and Support” thematic breakthrough the health benefits scored rather high. Support for teaching, improving teaching as well as computing and technical support and library resources scored also high. Housing benefits had the lowest score, but QCC does not offer support for housing, but neither do many other colleges. Admittedly, NYC is a tough area to find affordable housing in. Elder Care scored low, but that is something that CUNY does not offer. Child Care scored a bit higher; QCC does offer child care. The college might consider this for employees/faculty. Implementing a childcare program at QCC could enhance the overall well-being and work-life balance of employees and faculty, fostering a more supportive and inclusive work environment. There are several funding models that the college might consider to make this possible.

In the area of “Appreciation and Recognition”  the results of the survey seem to suggest that pre-tenured and full professors feel less recognized when compared both with their peers and faculty at other institutions. In particular, pre-tenured faculty feel less appreciated and recognized for their teaching, from colleagues and the head/chair of their departments; while full professors feel less appreciated and recognized for their teaching, advising, scholarship, service, from colleagues, and the head/chair of their departments. 

A higher degree of dissatisfaction is also noted among faculty of color and underrepresented minorities with a special focus on recognition, for their teaching and advising, as well as recognition from CAO, Dean, and head/chair, when compared both with their peers and faculty at other institutions. 

QCC have recently started the “Teaching Excellence Award” recognition for teaching. The application process is rather lengthy but this initiative might help at least a bit with the recognition for teaching. More meaningful recognition for teaching during the tenure and promotion process probably would improve the situation more.  

In the area “Nature of Work” the lowest scores were recorded for course release for research - there is a small reassign time for pre-tenured faculty for research the grant funded release is one of the options for faculty.  Support for travel also scored low. There is a limit on the number of days allowed for presenting at conferences. There is a very limited amount of money for travel expenses, with the increased cost of travel that covers very little of the costs of the attendance of attractive meetings.                     Support for research also scored low; the college doesn’t offer research funds, in the past there were some funds for it, but in general, faculty needs to obtain grants. There is also issue with space and equipment: some departments have shared laboratories, equipment varies by departments and disciplines. There is no support for publications, perhaps that is the largest problem. Publishing is a must for tenure and promotion however publishing in prestigious journals can be costly, the cost can be covered by grant funding however, sometimes it takes a lot longer to finish a manuscript than the grant period allows. 

There are a lot of low scores regarding the quality of students, but as an open admission institution the issue is out of hand. 

Regarding the service and work on committees, this area was also commented on in another thematic breakthrough: pre-tenured faculty expressed negative feelings about the number of committees and their attractiveness, as well as the discretion at which they are populated. Perhaps increasing the transparency of placement on the committees and having a mechanism that allows them to see the tangible effects of committee work would help. 

For the Tenure and Promotion: Faculty feel that overall, there is little clarity on tenure standards and expectations.  Due to overall low response rate and the significantly decreased number of untenured assistant professors it is impossible to perform discipline specific observation. 


Each department was tasked with developing guidelines pertaining to the tenure and promotion process, maybe revisiting the guidelines and disseminating them more visible would help. Also implementing a more structured mentorship process for the junior faculty would help.  

Cross-Silo collaboration and mentorship. The faculty in general felt that interdisciplinary work is not rewarded in promotion and that departments don’t know how to evaluate the interdisciplinary work. Non-tenured faculty responded negatively to the possibility for collaboration. 

Most faculty scored very low on the mentorship questions, particularly non-white and non-tenured. Mentoring of associate professors got very low scores as well. Establishing a structured mentorship process and providing guidelines for mentors and rewording mentoring of junior faculty during the promotion process could help with this. The mentorship could also help with other areas.   

In the area of Institutional Leadership:  At the level of department chair: Pace of decision making, Stated Priorities, Communication of Priorities and Fairness in Evaluating Work scored the lowest as compared to the peers and cohort.  

Within Departmental Engagement, Pre-Tenured Faculty scored the following in the RED zone and warrant areas of concern: Discussions of undergraduate student learning, Discussions of effective teaching practices, Discussions of effective use of technology, Amount of professional interaction with tenured faculty. 

The overall department quality score was relatively lower than the other main categories for the department, areas of concern that were in the RED zone were: Intellectual vitality of tenured faculty in the eyes of pre-tenured and full professors, Scholarly productivity of tenured faculty in the eyes of pre-tenured faculty and women, Teaching effectiveness of tenured faculty in the eyes of pre-tenured faculty and faculty of color, Teaching effectiveness of pre-tenured faculty in the eyes of men and faculty of color, Departments’ ability to address substandard performance in the eyes of full professors. 

Based on these responses, it seems as though some more support at the department level of pre-tenured faculty may be of value, and some structured opportunities for collaboration in research and teaching between tenured and pre-tenured faculty.

In the Shared Governance section, the comparison to peers and cohort as well as scores were generally positive. Important decisions are not made until there is consensus scored lowest, but not worse than peers. My committees make measurable progress towards goals was assessed by particularly pre-ten faculty very negatively. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Urszula Golebiewska co-Chair

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