Tenure and Tenure-Track Faculty Work-Life Survey Report

During the 2009-2010 academic year, we surveyed tenure and tenure-track faculty from throughout the university. Our goal was to better understand faculty perspectives on a variety of work-life balance issues. In all, completed surveys were received from 344 faculty, from 60 academic departments. They were roughly representative of the tenured/tenure-track faculty as a whole, in terms of gender and ethnicity. For an overview of our findings, we invite you to peruse the “SJSU Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty Work-Life Survey” Report (pdf).

Overall, at least half of respondents reported that meeting their work obligations conflicted with their family responsibilities. They also reported that work-related stress frequently intruded into their home-life. Not surprisingly, family demands and child care are particularly important issue for faculty with children under the age of 18. While many faculty members express concern about the lack of affordable child care, barely half know of resources readily available to them on campus. More information about these resources can be found in the “Balancing Work and Life for Faculty at SJSU” Handbook (pdf).

The final two survey items invited comment on additional concerns about managing the demands of work and family, and to share ideas they had about how SJSU might help them balance work and family life. Roughly one third of respondents provided feedback on these questions.

One theme that emerged was the need for information about and support for addressing the needs of aging family members (elder care, etc..). A second theme was the need for information about and support for more affordable good quality child care. A third theme was the need for strategies to secure reduced workloads and/or to manage time better. And a fourth theme was the critical role department Chairs played in helping faculty arrive at more practicable workloads.

In response to the feedback we received from faculty in this survey, we have created the “Family Matters” web-site. We have attempted to make more readily available to faculty information about resources they can draw upon, as they strive to find a more satisfactory work-life balance. We invite you to check it out.