April 9, 2012 — University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan and Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon have a message for faculty members: Watch for an email whose subject line is "Invitation to complete UVA Faculty Senate Survey." And when you receive it, please take the time to fill it out.
Sullivan and Simon – as well as Faculty Senate chair Robert Kemp and Dr. Christopher Holstege, chair of the senate's Committee on Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Retirement and Welfare, and Tom Guterbock, director of U.Va.'s Center for Survey Research – issued three letters in all to faculty colleagues explaining the importance of the survey.
Its purpose is to provide up-to-date data to guide decisions on the University's future. The online questionnaire seeks faculty opinions on a range of topics, including collegiality, autonomy, pay and benefits, leadership, time use and overall job satisfaction.
Sullivan and Simon asked faculty to be candid. The survey will be anonymous. The Faculty Senate will control all data, and the Center for Survey Research will administer the online survey and house the data
"Our faculty members are essential to all of the work we do here in education, research, clinical work and service. We want you to be satisfied with your work environment and energized by your daily duties," Sullivan and Simon wrote.
Every five years the senate conducts a survey to determine how faculty members feel about critical issues. This is the year for such a survey, but this is not a "typical survey year," Kemp and Holstege wrote in their letter to faculty. "It is special because U.Va. has a new leadership team who sincerely seek to understand the desires and concerns of the faculty," they wrote. "Please take advantage of this opportunity for your voice to be heard."
Faculty members representing all 11 of the University's schools have worked for months preparing the questionnaire.
"We're asking for responses from all faculty members from every school, full-time and part-time, to help the Faculty Senate to gather the most up-to-date information on well-being, workload and job satisfaction that will guide decisions made by the president, the provost, the senate and others as they plan for the University's future," Guterbock wrote in his letter.
Aggregated results of the survey will be available to the University community.
The senate will present the results to U.Va.'s administration and Board of Visitors.