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University addresses Modern Think 2014 Great Colleges Survey

The following email about the Modern Think 2014 Great Colleges Survey was sent by Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Campus Climate Task Force Co-Chairs Dr. Valerie Young and Colleen Bendl on Jan. 12.

Dear Colleagues,

In the spring of 2014, the Modern Think 2014 Great Colleges Survey was conducted in collaboration with the leaders of the faculty, classified, and administrative senates. On Oct. 22, President Roderick J. McDavis and Provost Pam Benoit announced the formation of a task force to analyze the results and implications of the survey data, to share findings, and to develop recommendations for follow-up actions for Ohio University.

The task force, co-chaired by Dr. Valerie Young, Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and Colleen Bendl, Chief Human Resource Officer, includes representatives from faculty, classified, and administrative employee groups, the senates, and regional campuses. We look forward to ongoing discussion and the development of synergistic recommendations that will enhance our campus and workplace climates.

Modern Think representative Richard Boyer visited the Athens Campus on Dec. 9, 2014 to review the survey data with the task force. He presented the overarching themes and scoring guidelines for the survey and also provided some context in terms of trends observed in large academic institutions as a group, trends often seen when institutions initially conduct a survey of this type, and when they continue to monitor campus climate over time. Fifteen core dimensions contained within the survey include the following:

  • Job satisfaction/support
  • Teaching environment
  • Professional development
  • Compensation, benefits, and work/life balance
  • Facilities
  • Policies, resources, and efficiency
  • Shared governance
  • Pride
  • Supervisors/department chairs
  • Senior leadership
  • Faculty, administration and staff relations
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Fairness
  • Respect and appreciation

Upon review of the overall results (combining all employment groups), there are many areas where Ohio University employees report favorable results. The top three areas include pride in the mission of Ohio University, job satisfaction and support, and quality of supervisors and chairs.

There also are several areas of concern that need to be addressed. The three areas with the lowest overall scores include faculty, administration and staff relations, senior leadership, and shared governance. A need to improve communication is a common thread within the three lowest scoring areas.

The task force has started formulating its guiding principles and forming subcommittees to investigate underlying strengths and weaknesses, and to identify actions to be taken. Some actions may bear fruit quickly, while others may require considerable planning and ongoing effort to be effective.

For more information about the survey results, please refer to the Institutional Research website.


Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost, Ohio University

Valerie Young
Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio University

Colleen Bendl
Chief Human Resource Officer, Ohio University