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Great Colleges to Work For Survey

For the first time, the University of Richmond was recognized as a Great College to Work For, specifically in the area of "Facilities, Workspace, and Security". The University of Richmond participated in the Great Colleges to Work For survey sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education in the spring of 2015. All full- and part-time faculty and staff were invited to participate and 47 percent (780 faculty and staff) completed the survey.

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.

Why did 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 did the survey focus on?

The survey solicited 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 were 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?

Beginning in December 2015, department leaders will share the results for every area, as well as ask for input on how to respond to the data and findings.

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 was the survey and what was the format?

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

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

Why were 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 was critical, ModernThink did not report individual demographic data. Group demographic data was only reported when there were five or more respondents in a particular group. Although the demographics were an optional piece of the survey, employees were strongly encouraged to complete this information.

Who was eligible to participate in the survey?

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

How often will we participate in the survey?

While the formal timeline for the next survey is not yet established, the University of Richmond plans to repeat the Great Colleges Survey process every three to four years. This year’s results provide us with important comparative data so that we can chart our progress moving forward.

Whom can I contact with additional questions about the Campus Climate survey?

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact Carl Sorensen, associate vice president for human resources at 289-8166 or, Audrey Coulbourn, director of talent and organizational effectiveness at 289-8025 or, or Amy Anders, ModernThink’s project manager for the University of Richmond Campus Climate Survey, at 888-684-4658 or

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