The Nevada Faculty Alliance conducted confidential surveys of academic and non-managerial administrative faculty at the seven NSHE colleges and universities between November 2022 and February 2023.
The detailed aggregate and institutional results are linked below:
Key highlights from the surveys include the following:
- Faculty are most concerned about low salaries, with 64% of respondents reporting moderate or strong dissatisfaction with their overall compensation and 71% feeling that their compensation compares unfavorably with others in their field at their stage of career.
- About half of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with health care benefits. After improving compensation and lowering PEBP premiums, their highest priority is the restoration of PEBP benefits including Long-Term Disability Insurance.
- A strong majority of respondents (79%) are satisfied with retirement benefits, the one bright spot in overall compensation.
- Faculty respondents generally report being comfortable with the climate within their own departments or programs (72% overall), suggesting good working relationships with close colleagues. However, there is variability across the seven institutions in how comfortable faculty are with their overall campus climate--67% overall are moderately or strongly comfortable with their campus climate but at two institutions about half of the faculty members report being moderately or strongly uncomfortable.
- Faculty members who report they are more comfortable with the campus climate tend to be at institutions whose administrators are perceived to embrace the principles of shared governance and protect academic freedom. Conversely, institutions rated low in campus climates are correlated with dissatisfaction in those areas.
- Over half of the faculty respondents have seriously considered leaving their institution in the past two years, with low salaries being the most common reason followed by limited advancement opportunities. Contributing reasons include a lack of a sense of belonging, the high cost of living and housing, and a lack of institutional support. Faculty at institutions that rate low on campus climate overall list the climate and tensions with administrators among reasons to consider leaving.
- Finally, at the four institutions without faculty collective bargaining units (GBC, NSC, UNLV & UNR), a supermajority of 83% of respondents moderately or strongly support formation of a bargaining unit to negotiate for improved compensation, benefits, and working conditions.
The survey responses will inform our advocacy efforts at the legislature for higher COLAs, for full restoration of benefits, and for our bill to secure collective bargaining rights in state law.
Our short faculty survey is strongly indicative of differences in campus climate among the seven institutions, but does not eliminate the need for comprehensive campus climate studies and 360° evaluations of administrators, which should be conducted by external consultants as part of the periodic presidential reviews by the Regents. Such studies could delve into the specific groups of faculty who feel the campus climate is unwelcoming or uncomfortable and why.
We would like to thank everyone who responded to the survey and provided written comments. Your input is incredibly valuable to us, and we have read and considered all of the comments. As always, we remain committed to working in solidarity with members of our faculty alliance to ensure that our voices are heard and our needs are met.