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Great Colleges to Work For Survey

The University participates in the Great Colleges to Work For Survey to gather important information that assist us in contining to be a model employer as identified in the Richmond Promise. 

The survey provides staff and faculty with a way to give feedback to University leaders.  The results help us identify our strengths and areas where we have opportunity for improvement.  

While division leaders will be sharing more detailed results in the months to come, please find topline data reports on the left-hand side of this page, as well as Frequently Asked Questions below.

Additional Questions

Why do we participate in the Great Colleges to Work For survey?

The results provide important information to help us continue to be a model employer as identified in the Richmond Promise. The results help us identify our strengths and areas where we have opportunity for improvement.

When did we last participate in the survey?

We participated 2010, 2012, and most recently in 2015.

What is the Chronicle Great Colleges Program?

ModernThink, LLC is the research partner for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges Program. Now in its eighth year, the program is designed to recognize institutions that are great places to work and to compile detailed benchmarking data about industry trends. The assessment for the Chronicle's Great College’s Program consists of two parts: The ModernThink Institution Questionnaire© and the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey©. All institutions must complete both parts of the assessment to be considered for recognition in the program.

What areas will the survey focus on?

The survey will solicit feedback on a broad range of topics, focused around the following themes:

  • Job Satisfaction/Support
  • Teaching Environment
  • Career Development, Research and Scholarship
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Facilities and Security
  • Policies, Resources and Efficiency
  • Collaboration
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Participation in University Governance
  • Connection to Institution and Pride
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Faculty, Administration and Staff Relations
  • Internal Communication
  • Fairness

In addition to the 60 core survey statements, there will be 16 benefit satisfaction questions and 2 open-ended questions.

Where have we shown the most improvement since 2010?

Overall, faculty and staff report significant progress on the following statements:

  • There is regular and open communication among faculty, administration and staff
  • This institution's benefits meet my needs
  • I am paid fairly for my work
  • My department has adequate faculty/staff to achieve our goals
  • The role of faculty in shared governance is clearly stated and publicized
  • There is regular and open communication among faculty, administration and staff
  • This institution's policies and practices ensure fair treatment for faculty, administration and staff
  • This institution has clear and effective procedures for dealing with discrimination
  • Our recognition and awards programs are meaningful to me
  • This institution's culture is special - something you don't find just anywhere
When will I hear more about the results of the survey?

Results will be available for distribution in the fall of 2018.

What does the category titled '2015 FAS + 4 Year' in the Topline Survey Results mean?

Schools have a choice in how they participate. The most common method is for ModernThink to send invitations to only a sample of employees at a college or university. Some schools, like the University of Richmond, ask ModernThink to send survey invitations to all employees. This is called “over sampling”. The scores in the “2015 FAS + 4 Year” (Faculty, Administration and Staff) column represent the averages of those schools that oversampled by sending participation invitations to all employees.

How long is the survey and what is the format?

The survey consists of 60 statements that employees respond to using a five-point agreement scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Sometimes Agree/Sometimes Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Additionally, there is a Not Applicable response option. The survey instrument also includes a 16-item benefits satisfaction component and two open-ended questions. 

There are several demographic questions at the end of the survey (Gender, Age, Job Category, etc). Respondents are encouraged to provide responses to these but also have the option of skipping them.

Why are demographics asked about on the survey?

The demographic information (e.g., gender, age, job role, etc.) helps the University better understand the patterns and themes in the survey data. As the confidentiality of the responses is critical, ModernThink does not report individual demographic data. Group demographic data is only reported when there are five or more respondents in a particular group. Although the demographics are an optional piece of the survey, employees are strongly encouraged to complete this information.

Who is eligible to participate in the survey?

All full-time faculty and all full- and part-time staff members are invited and encouraged to participate in the survey.

How often will we participate in the survey?

The University of Richmond plans to repeat the Great Colleges Survey process every three to four years. This year’s results will provide us with important comparative data so that we can chart our progress moving forward.

Whom can I contact with additional questions about the Great Colleges to Work For survey?

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact Deborah White, senior research analyst, at 484-1582 or, Bernadette Costello, director of talent and organizational effectiveness, at 289-8025 or, or Liz Flood, ModernThink's project manager for the University of Richmond Great Colleges to Work For survey, at 302-764-4477 x103.

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