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What is the purpose of this survey?

The faculty survey is part of the long-range planning effort, aiming to reassess what promotes faculty satisfaction and productivity and determine where improvements are needed. The survey will include questions on hiring and retention, diversity, mentoring, sexual harassment, workload, and workplace support, among other topics.

Who designed the survey?

An advisory committee composed of faculty across the university was formed to provide input for and oversight of the effort. The committee developed the survey instrument based on the previous Stanford faculty quality of life survey, peer institution faculty surveys, and current topics of interest. In choosing the questions, the committee favored questions that can provide actionable results and lead to policy impacts. The committee also sought to shorten response time and increase response rate.

Who is adminstering the survey?

The survey will be administered by the office of Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) in conjunction with the offices of the Provost and the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity.

When was the last faculty survey and what were the findings?

The last campus-wide Faculty Quality of Life Survey was conducted in 2008 and its report was released in 2010. The primary conclusion from the findings of the 2008 survey was that though overall levels of satisfaction was quite high among Stanford faculty, similar to or higher than faculty satisfaction at peer institutions, significant concerns remained, especially in the perceptions of support from academic units and colleagues. Faculty who identified as women and/or members of under-represented minority (URM) groups perceived lower levels of collegiality and respect for their scholarship. This depressed their satisfaction with being a faculty member at Stanford. 

A follow-up interview study with URM faculty was conducted in 2010-11, and two reports were released focusing on issues of recognition, collegiality, mentoring and voice in decision-making. The reports included recommendations to increase the number of URM faculty and to work on building a more inclusive culture that facilitates scholarly interactions and collegiality on campus and gives recognition and voice to URM faculty. 

Is this the same as the affordability assessment for faculty?

No. The Affordability Assessment is separate from the Faculty Quality of Life Survey. The Affordability Task Force will be gathering input from faculty, as well as staff, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars through a detailed assessment; that effort will take place in late January 2019 through mid February. Please participate in both the Faculty Quality of Life Survey and the Affordability Assessment, as each is an important opportunity to reflect your viewpoints.


Are my responses confidential?

The information that you provide in the survey is strictly confidential. However, during the data collection phase of the survey, your name, email address, and university ID number are used in the following manner:

Your name and email address are used to:

  • send you a unique survey link that will allow you to save your responses and come back to the survey if you cannot complete the survey in one setting, and ensure one submission per respondent;
  • allow the survey software to send reminders only to those who have not completed the survey;
  • send you an Amazon Gift Card after survey completion, and allow you to enter into a random drawing for several grand prizes.

Your university ID number is used to import administrative data about your faculty appointment for the purpose of shortening the survey.

These individual identifiers (name, email, university ID number) will be removed from the data file prior to analysis and archived in a separate key file. No one analyzing the data will have access to the identifying information. All survey materials will be kept securely by the relevant offices (IRDS and VPFDD) on encrypted password-protected computers.  No other office or individual will have access to the identity of a survey respondent, except in the exceedingly rare event that IRDS and/or VPFDD believe that they are acting to protect human life, to prevent grave bodily injury, to prevent ongoing criminal activity, or to prevent predatory sexual misconduct.

Results from the quantitative analysis of the data will only be reported in the aggregate at the unit level, in a manner that does not identify individuals. Typically aggregation is made for groups with at least five individual responses; however this threshold may be higher depending on the size of the faculty in a specific unit.

Open-ended comments will be collected near the end of this survey. Because individual identifiers will be removed from the data file, these comments will be anonymous and will not be attributable to their source.  For the purpose of illustrating or supplementing quantitative results, some anonymous comments may be quoted in survey reports, but it will not be possible to determine who provided these comments.

Taking the survey

Who is being asked to take the survey?

All professorial faculty are asked to take the survey, including members of the university tenure line, non-tenure line, medical center line, and senior fellows and center fellows at the independent labs, centers and institutes.

Lecturers are not included in this survey, as a separate study has been done recently by the Provost’s Committee on Lecturers. 

Why should I take the survey?

The last Stanford faculty quality of life survey was conducted in 2008-19. Much has happened in the past decade, including the hiring of many new faculty and changes in university leadership. It’s time to reassess what promotes faculty satisfaction and productivity and determine where improvements are needed. The University is in the process of finalizing the Long Range Plan.  Information from this survey will assist the President and Provost in making key final decisions that will affect the University in years ahead. It’s important to have broad participation in the survey to help determine priorities that need to be addressed as we move forward with the long range planning process.

When is the survey available?

The survey opened on January 10, and will close on January 31.

How long does it take to complete the survey?

The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.

How do I take the survey?

An email invitation from was sent to each faculty member on January 10th with a personal link to the online survey. Periodic email reminders contain the same survey link. You may complete the survey in one session or come back to it later using the same link (progress will be automatically saved).

If you have trouble finding the survey invitation email, please contact for help with retrieving your survey link. 

When and how do I get the incentives?

Every faculty member who completes this survey will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The gift card will be delivered by email after the survey closes in early February. 
In addition, upon submitting your survey response, you will have the opportunity to enter into a random drawing for one of several grand prizes. ​Drawings will be made in February 2019. Winners will be contacted directly via email.


When will the results be available?

In-depth survey results will be released in Fall 2019. 

How will the results be shared?

The results will be reported to the Faculty Senate and the Executive Cabinet, along with a more general report to the Stanford Faculty who took part in the survey. Results will also be shared as soon as available with all of the relevant Long Range Planning Committees and Teams.


Whom should I contact if I have a question, suggestion or concern?

Members of the Faculty Survey Advisory Committee can be reached at