University of Iowa survey reveals over half of faculty, staff respondents considered leaving UI
More than half of faculty, staff and postdoctoral students who responded to the University of Iowa's Campus Climate Survey said they "seriously" considered leaving UI in the last 12 months, according to survey findings released by the university.
The 2022 Campus Climate Survey, which was administered in last year in March, collects feedback from faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students on a variety of topics including experiencing bias, UI’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, retention and freedom of expression.
The university sent the survey to 19,290 faculty and staff and 26,290 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.
Of that, 5,759 faculty and staff and 4,679 students responded.
Findings reveal faculty, staff and postdoctoral students have increasingly considered leaving UI
The campus climate findings showed that 51% of faculty, staff and postdoctoral students said they considered leaving Iowa in the past 12 months, compared to 39% in 2018.
"It was not surprising to see this number as we see what is happening nationally in institutions in higher education," said director of cultural engagement and analytics in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Isandra Martínez-Marrero in an email. "We have seen these numbers increase over time, as has the job market in higher education."
The top reasons for this include salary and better compensation, workplace climate and culture, career advancement opportunities — which have remained among the top three reasons in previous campus climate surveys — lack of professional support and bias.
"Our workforce has been through a lot of change since the first campus climate survey in 2018, most notably the pandemic," Martínez-Marrero said. "Each campus climate survey is a snapshot in time, and we don’t have benchmarks with other institutions. We do know that our workforce challenges are not unique to Iowa but are in line with employment trends in higher education."
Responses to “In the past 12 months, I have seriously considered leaving the University of Iowa” show that 53% of faculty, staff and postdoctoral respondents who identify as an underrepresented minority such as Black or African American, American Indian, and Latino agreed with that statement. Half of white and multi-racial respondents agreed.
While nearly half of faculty, staff and postdoctoral respondents who identified as a woman or man agreed with the statement, 68% of transgender and gender nonconforming respondents agreed.
Other data points include:
57% of LGBQ respondents agreed with that statement compared to 48% of respondents who identified as straight;
64% of respondents with a disability agreed with that statement compared to 47% of people without a disability;
Faculty who answered yes to having considered leaving UI in the past 12 months is up 11 percentage points from 2018; and
Staff who answered yes to having considered leaving UI in the past 12 months is up 13 percentage points from 2018.
Since one of the top reasons for leaving the university was due to workplace culture, Martínez-Marrero said the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be "laser-focused" on improving campus culture.
Martínez-Marrero said to address this challenge, the university will "increas(e) our ability to listen and respect each other through our differences" and "unify... our understanding of our core values."
The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will immediately "begin to meet individually with each college and unit to review these results to develop action steps" to address these findings, she said.
Experiencing bias among reasons to consider leaving UI
Experiencing bias caused 75% of faculty, staff and postdoctoral respondents to consider leaving the university, compared to 69% in 2020.
More than half of all faculty, staff and postdoctoral respondents who identify as Asian, multi-racial, an underrepresented minority or white said that experiencing bias has caused them to consider leaving the university “to some extent.”
A decrease among respondents feeling valued
Faculty, staff and postdoctorals responded to the statement, “I feel valued as an individual at the University of Iowa.”
Responses categorized by gender showed that while 80% of people who identified as either a woman or man agreed with that statement, only 59% of transgender and gender nonconforming people agreed with that statement.
That number varied among undergraduate and graduate students, 50% and 68% respectively.
Data available from all three campus climate surveys shows that faculty agreement with that statement has decreased over the years from 86% in 2018 to 71% in 2022. For staff, it’s decreased by 6 percentage points since 2018 to 79% in 2022.
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and arts at the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Reach her at PBarraza@press-citizen.com or 319-519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.
This article originally appeared on Iowa City Press-Citizen: UI employees' survey responses show over half considered leaving jobs