Climate Survey

The 2019 Harvard Faculty Climate survey aims to provide a broad understanding of faculty experiences to inform policy and practice improvements. It has been administered twice before (about every six years starting in 2006-07) to tenured, tenure-track, and select non-ladder faculty ranks. Highlights of the 2019 University-level findings, a year prior to COVID-19, are listed below.

2019 Faculty Climate Survey Results
Download the results of the 2019 Faculty Climate Survey

2019 Faculty Climate Survey Details

  • To provide a broad understanding of faculty experiences at Harvard
  • To compare conditions with peer institutions
  • To monitor progress made since the 2007 and 2013 surveys
  • To inform policy and practice improvements
  • To continue to fulfill the recommendations of the 2005-06 Task Forces on Women

All data were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Sections of the survey included:
    • Satisfaction with overall and specific aspects of faculty life 
    • Atmosphere, including community, respect, value, support, and inclusion
    • Mentoring and Advancement
    • Sources of Stress from both work and personal concerns
    • Time Use
  • Survey administration included:
    • Target population of tenured, tenure-track, and select non-ladder faculty
    • Participation by 63% of faculty overall
    • Conducted from fall 2018 to spring 2019
      • All data were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Faculty overall are satisfied with being a Harvard faculty member.
  • Some of the largest differences by gender and race/ethnicity are found in perceptions of climate, diversity and inclusion.
  • Mentoring rates continue to improve, although satisfaction with certain dimensions varies widely by race/ethnicity.
  • Time pressure is the largest source of work stress; for faculty with children, childcare and children’s schooling are top non-work stress.
  • Women continue to spend more hours on household duties, but the gender gap among faculty with young children has decreased since 2013.

More detailed findings are reported in the slides below.

2013 Faculty Climate Survey Report

Faculty Climate Survey Report

Download the results of the 2013 Faculty Climate Survey

2013 Faculty Climate Survey Details

  • To provide insights into the working environment at Harvard
  • To identify major stresses for faculty, as a first step to develop policies and practices to address them
  • To compare conditions with peer institutions
  • To monitor progress made since the 2007 Faculty Climate Survey
  • To drive changes in policy and practices, as the 2007 FCS did
  • To fulfill the recommendations of the 2005-06 Task Forces on Women
  • Most faculty are satisfied with being a faculty member at Harvard
  • Over 3/4 of faculty report a generally positive atmosphere in their department, though there are differences by gender and race/ethnicity
  • Mentoring, both formal and informal, has increased substantially since 2007
  • Work-life balance is stressful for many faculty; women reported greater levels of stress than male counterparts across all work-life dimensions

More detailed findings are reported in the slides below.

  • Sections of the survey included:
    • Satisfaction 
    • Atmosphere
    • Tenure
    • Mentoring
    • Work / Life Balance
  • Survey administration included:
    • Development as a collaborative effort coordinated by the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity, the Office of Institutional Research, and a broad range of faculty and leadership across the Schools
    • Target population of tenured, tenure-track, and select non-ladder faculty ranks
    • Participation by 72% of faculty overall
    • Conducted from fall 2012 to spring 2013

2013 Faculty Climate Survey Results

Previous Climate and Satisfaction Surveys

2006-07 Faculty Climate Survey

During the 2006-07 academic year, Faculty Development and Diversity collaborated with the Office for Institutional Research to learn more about areas of strength and concern in faculty experience. Results were released in March of 2008.

2005 COACHE Climate Survey for Tenure Track Faculty

COACHE, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, develops and analyzes results of diagnostic surveys on faculty satisfaction and climate that are used by many institutions across the country. In 2005, FD&D collaborated with COACHE to launch the Climate Survey for Tenure Track Faculty, designed by Cathy Trower and Richard Chait at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Learn more about COACHE's surveys, reports, and publications.