the fountain infront of Langsdorf HallCaption: Cal State Fullerton continues to be an “exemplary” institution as determined by the Harvard-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, a consortium of 160 member institutions.Download Photo


Tenure-Track Faculty Rate Campus Highly

Campus Named ‘Exemplary’ in National Job Satisfaction Survey

Cal State Fullerton continues to be “exemplary" in key dimensions of work experiences of early career faculty, as determined by the Harvard-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, a consortium of 160 member institutions.

The designation is based on surveys of young faculty members across the nation — originally taken in 2006 with additional survey results from additional institutions since — that put CSUF in the same company as such institutions as Brown, Duke and the University of Iowa. The report drew on a survey of 15,000 early career faculty members at 127 of the member colleges nationwide. Among them, 32 universities achieved "exemplar" status.

Faculty member consults with studentsCaption: Students consult with a faculty member on a class project.

“We are pleased to see that our efforts to make new tenure-track faculty feel welcome and to help them become successful as members of the university community is recognized,” said James Dietz, acting associate vice president for academic affairs. “This survey has provided valuable information that will help us continue to better serve our probationary faculty members.”

COACHE’s survey looked at eight areas: tenure practices; clarity of institutional expectations for tenure; nature of faculty work overall, in research and in teaching; work and home balance and supports; climate, culture and collegiality; and global satisfaction. In order to qualify as an exemplar institution, an institution needed to have scores that placed it at the top of institutions in a similar Carnegie classification.

Cal State Fullerton, within the classification of master’s-level institutions, continues its exemplar status in two of the categories: tenure practice and clarity of institutional expectations for tenure.

Part of the university’s success in being listed by COACHE, Dietz believes, is because of President Milton A. Gordon’s mandate to conduct 100 faculty recruitments each year for five years. Cal State Fullerton was in the third year of the effort in 2007 when the survey results listed among the exemplary institutions and despite bad times, “we’ve continued to make the effort to bring more tenure-track faculty members to campus.”

The growth in new hires also means that a growing population of faculty members are younger, with needs that differ from their veteran colleagues, according to Robin Graboyes, director of faculty affairs and records.

“We’re very aware of the concerns of this new generation of faculty members, and its very different from previous generations,” said Graboyes, who noted that her office has conducted research, including looking at the activities of other universities, in the campus’s efforts to better serve its new faculty members. “One of the biggest concerns is the balance of family and work, and we’re becoming very proactive in making new faculty aware of programs and support. We work hard to keep new faculty on track for tenure.”

Professor and student discuss science posterCaption: Faculty members work with students on scientific posters that are presented at conferences.

The Office of Faculty Affairs and Records website has been expanded to include more information, more guidance on the issues important to probationary faculty, said Graboyes. “We listen to the types of questions we receive and use those to anticipate what is needed. We also get a lot of suggestions, and some are fantastic." One such example that was instituted is the development of guidelines to assist new members of the Department Personnel Review committees, said Graboyes.

Departments also have established clear, specific standards of what is required for tenure and promotion, said Dietz. “All new faculty members, from day one, have a good handle of what they need to achieve tenure.”

Only one other CSU campus was among those in the latest report: CSU San Marcos, which is listed as an exemplar in nature of work overall and climate, culture and collegiality. The University of Iowa was listed as exceptional in five of the eight categories.

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