Interfolio Provost Survey

How Academic Leaders View the Current State of Higher Ed

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

How are Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) thinking about the academic and financial health of their institutions? And how do they rate faculty affairs post-pandemic?

The survey of 178 CAOs/provosts representing 83 public, 87 private, and 8 for-profit institutions offers important insights from today’s academic leaders. Respondents answered a host of questions about institutional health and priorities; the value of general education and liberal arts; pandemic response; faculty engagement; faculty tenure and retention; mental health; sexual harassment; and new policies and practices.

Survey highlights include:

  • 86% of CAOs say the quality of their institutions’ academic programs is good or excellent and was not negatively impacted by changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Approximately 60% of provosts agree that tenure is important and viable at their institution, while about three-fourths say their institution relies heavily on nontenure track faculty and 72% believe this will continue in the future.
  • Survey respondents say the Great Resignation has affected their institution’s staff jobs (71%) the most, followed by faculty jobs (40%), and then administration jobs (32 percent).

As seen in the survey results, CAOs are at odds about institutional and academic priorities as well as the pathways for successful hiring and retention of staff and faculty who are the lifeblood of their institutions.