The MIT faculty is being asked to participate in a nationwide faculty survey that will not only provide a demographic picture of the Institute but also information about how the faculty feels about issues of particular interest to this campus.
The survey is being conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at the Graduate School of Education at UCLA and is the third in a series that began in 1989. It is designed to elicit information on teaching practices and professional activities as well as workload and job satisfaction among the US professoriate.
At MIT the survey is being sponsored by the Provost's Office with staff support from the institutional research section of the Planning Office.
Questions specific to MIT include thoughts about teaching objectives, the balance of teaching and research, research funding, administrative responsibilities, international activities, performance review, professional opportunities and retirement planning.
In a letter to faculty members last month, Associate Provost Phillip L. Clay urged their participation.
"Although we routinely collect data from students and the staff as a whole, we rarely ask faculty questions about the stresses and demands that directly impact their life at MIT," he said.
Results of the survey are expected to be available in the spring and will permit comparisons between MIT and national norms as well as with peer institutions. The data will be used by senior officers in academic planning as well as faculty committees such as the Faculty Administration Committee and the Work and Family Committee.
The survey is a four-page questionnaire that takes about 20 minutes to complete. It is confidential and voluntary, but should be completed as soon as possible.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 1995.