Indiana University


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IU School of Medicine’s OFAPD greatly values the input of our faculty. As such, much of the collected data inform the types of programmatic and policy interventions developed at the school level. These data enable OFAPD to make evidence-based decisions on which faculty development offerings and initiatives best suit the needs of our faculty. Ultimately, we are interested in understanding what motivates faculty, what retains faculty, and what makes all faculty – men and women, URM and majority – satisfied, engaged, and productive.

Our faculty surveys and assessment tools are not simply isolated research projects. They are essential elements of a systemic approach to faculty and organizational development within the IU School of Medicine.

Vitality and the Faculty Vitality Survey©

In 2006, OFAPD developed a survey to measure faculty vitality; not just satisfaction, but also productivity and engagement. The instrument contains demographic variables and subscales measuring perceptions of the following categories:

  • Institutional Climate and Leadership
  • Career and Life Management
  • Faculty Development
  • Satisfaction
  • Engagement
  • Productivity

The most recent administration of the survey in 2011 garnered a 42% response rate, and illustrated that nearly 33% of the respondents were very satisfied and 47% were somewhat satisfied with their careers.

In 2011, nearly 40% of the IUSM faculty respondents strongly agreed that mentoring is highly important to academic vitality yet one in four of these faculty reported they do not have a mentor. In response to these findings, OFAPD convened a mentoring task force and developed two programs:

  • The Mentoring Portal. This online portal offers a host of mentoring resources and toolkits for both mentors and mentees. The website can be used as an online step-by-step mentoring relationship planner or as a supplement to individual or departmental mentoring practices.
  • The Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award. Two awards will be given each year to honor outstanding mentoring work across the institution. The awards will be vetted by the awards committee and granted by the Dean.

Additionally, the 2010 tenure clock extension was an initiative sparked by vitality data as a way to provide faculty, assistant professors in particular, more flexibility in the timing of their review. Since its passage and implementation, it has been cited as a national exemplar of faculty policy reform.

Chair 360˚ Survey

Every other year, the IUSM conducts a 360˚ survey of faculty to review and evaluate the performance of their department chairs. The most recent administration of the survey in 2010 garnered a 31% response rate. Each of the 21 survey items are mapped to six competency areas:

  • Leadership and team development
  • Performance and talent management
  • Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and personal attributes
  • Vision and strategic planning
  • Communication skills
  • Commitment to the tripartite mission

The feedback is anonymous and presented in the aggregate. Each chair receives his or her feedback in a meeting with the Dean. Data are also aggregated at the school level and across departments to review trends in leadership, promising practices, and areas of development for department chairs at-large.

Data from the 360˚survey in 2010 and faculty vitality survey© in 2011 reported that leadership skills were a key factor in the success of department chairs, and ultimately the vitality of the faculty. In a two-part response, OFAPD first developed a Chairs Leadership Development series—a collection of quarterly workshops designed to encourage chairs to consider ways to build skills in team development, mentoring, and faculty recruiting. Secondly, OFAPD has improved search and screen procedures in order to hire motivated chairs and faculty who are a good fit with our institution. With the recent hire of an Executive Recruiting Specialist OFAPD will share these processes and programs with academic units across the institution.

Work/Life Benchmarking Survey

In 2012, IUSM participated in a national awards competition sponsored by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—The Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility—in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE). In order to be considered for the award, each participating institution administered a survey gauging faculty understanding and experiences related to institutional work-life policies. Survey items were grouped into flexibility categories:

  • Support for managing work and personal/family responsibilities
  • Partial relief from faculty duties for family care and personal disability with consistent/reduced pay
  • Extension of time for review for promotion and tenure
  • Full leaves for biological and adoptive mothers and fathers
  • Full leaves for personal disability not related to childbirth
  • Part-time appointments with proportional pay
  • Career satisfaction

One area of opportunity for us was in the IU Health Physicians benefits package, which included no paid family leave. The Women’s Advisory Council’s subgroup on work-life policies convened a meeting with IU Health representatives and formed a focus group to study the issue. The focus group evaluated and compared the IU Health benefits to those of comparable practice plans and based on that information, a policy for paid maternity leave was drafted, revised, and approved in 2011. Additional areas of opportunity were identified in communication and education about institutional policies; increased support for flexibility in the practice plan; support for dependent caregiving demands; and part-time and senior faculty engagement. As a result of this work, IUSM was one of five schools in the U.S. to receive the $250,000 award to enhance promising practices for faculty career flexibility at their institution. This funding will be used to explore ways to engage senior and emeritus faculty, dual career hiring, and flexible scheduling options.

Diversity Engagement Survey

In 2011, IU School of Medicine was one of 14 U.S. medical schools to participate in the Diversity Engagement Survey (DES). This instrument was developed and analyzed by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The survey measured the inclusiveness of the academic learning environment and defined IUSM’s areas of strengths and improvement regarding organizational inclusion. Faculty, staff, and learners participated. The 22 survey items were mapped to eight inclusion factors

  • Trust
  • Appreciation of individual attributes
  • Sense of belonging
  • Access to opportunity
  • Equitable reward and recognition
  • Cultural competence
  • Respect
  • Common purpose

IUSM scored at or above the mean (more favorable) on almost every item. Additionally, in looking at statistically significant differences on the subscales, IUSM scored significantly more favorably on equitable reward and recognition; trust; and respect.  Indicative of the findings from the Diversity Engagement Survey, the number of new underrepresented minority faculty hired has increased significantly in recent years. Between 2000 and 2005, the average number of new underrepresented minority faculty hired per year was 4.8; since then, the average per year is 11.2.