2023 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers

How Academic Leaders View the State of Higher Ed 

An Interfolio-Sponsored Inside Higher Ed (IHE)/Hanover Research Study 

How are Provosts/Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) thinking about the academic and financial health of their institutions? And how do they think their faculty are faring in the post-pandemic higher ed landscape?

This survey of 400+ CAOs/provosts representing 201 public, 172 private, and 5 for-profit institutions offers insights from today’s academic leaders. Respondents answered a host of questions about academic quality and program priorities; institutional financial health; faculty engagement, burnout, and mental health; and tenure vs. nontenure systems as well as new faculty employment models, among other topics.

Survey highlights include:

  • Nearly all provosts (98%) surveyed believe their institution provides a quality undergraduate education, and the majority (84%) rank their institution’s academic quality as “good” or “excellent.” 
  • Most academic leaders (61%) rate the academic quality of their institution as “good” and do not think changes made during the pandemic over the last two years have negatively impacted academic quality.
  • 47% of those surveyed believe the financial situation of their institution has not improved over the last year, while 37% agree that it has—and 85% agree that inflation will limit budget growth at their institution.
  • Only 19% of provosts surveyed indicate that their institution very effectively recruits and retains talented faculty.
  • 52% of respondents indicate they would favor a new employment system beyond tenure, and 48% indicate they would oppose such a new system.
  • While more than half of provosts believe that faculty feel engaged, only 22% believe that faculty feel supported, and only 12% believe faculty feel connected to the institution or administration.

Download the Research Report