Banner photo courtesy of California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Inequities and discrimination built into the systems and structures of higher education lead to systemic issues that prevent faculty from doing and receiving recognition for their best teaching. Often climate or environmental studies of faculty are done locally, complicating what we know about teaching cultures as a field. The College and University Teaching Environments survey is a large-scale, national assessment of faculty teaching environments, needs, and supports, available for instructors of both undergraduate and graduate student populations. The findings from this project can both inform the field of higher education about the current teaching climates and cultures that faculty experience as well as provide participating institutions with actionable information to improve the teaching environments on their own campuses.
Our primary goals are to investigate in what areas institutions are doing well or could improve in providing supportive environments for quality teaching. In other words, we will examine to what extent institutions are satisfying faculty teaching needs, inspiring positive motivations for teaching, providing adequate teaching resources, creating environments conducive to collegial teaching interactions with peers, and fostering productive interactions with students. This project will explore faculty perceptions of these supports regarding their own teaching environment. We will strive to identify groups of faculty or institutions that experience more supportive environments for teaching and pay particular attention to traditionally marginalized groups of faculty or faculty at disadvantaged institutions who may be experiencing inequitable treatment.