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Faculty survey to measure success of Sloan grant

In 2006, Lehigh was one of five universities nationwide to receive a $250,000 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility to create a more flexible workplace to attract and keep the best faculty.

The grant was awarded in recognition of Lehigh’s achievements for unique, innovative and promising practices in career flexibility.

The Lehigh University Faculty Survey, conducted in April-May 2006 as part of Lehigh’s application for the Alfred P. Sloan Award, was to determine faculty perceptions on Lehigh policies on career flexibility and departmental/administrative support. The survey also determined the percentage of those who utilized these policies and faculty job satisfaction.

On Monday, September 29, the American Council on Education will conduct a follow-up survey to the initial 2006 survey. The survey, which will run through the end of November 2008, will measure faculty perceptions; familiarity and satisfaction concerning work/life balance issues; and overall success of the programs and policies at Lehigh that address work/life balance. Faculty participation is voluntary but vital to the success of the assessment.

Lehigh makes significant effort towards work/life balance issues

For the past two years, Lehigh University has made significant efforts to help faculty members to address work/life issues such as parenthood, family and personal illness, and dual-career couples.

Each year, faculty members were mailed a copy of the Work and Life brochure. In addition, the Lehigh Sloan Program Advisory Committee was formed in fall 2006 to devise new programs and policies to address these issues. The committee has a representative from each of the colleges and has worked together with the provost and deans to develop a number of initiatives including:

• The Faculty Dual-Career Assistance program, in partnership with the Lehigh University Alumni Association, to assist the partners/spouses of faculty members in their job searches within the region;
• University-wide Faculty Dual-Career Hiring guidelines;
• Research grants to help untenured, tenure-track faculty members sustain research productivity when they take a Family and Medical Leave to care for a newborn or adopted child or other family member;
• Lehigh’s membership in the newly expanded New Jersey/Eastern PA/ Delaware Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), which, among other things, maintains a Web site with a dual-job search function for prospective faculty members and their partners/spouses looking to relocate to the Lehigh Valley and the surrounding regions;
• Leadership of discussions at Lehigh regarding tenure-clock extensions to create more flexibility within the probationary period without affecting the university’s high tenure standards.

For more information on the upcoming faculty survey, the Lehigh Sloan program, the Sloan Advisory Committee or its programs and initiatives, please visit the Work/Life Balance Web site or e-mail Kelli Oliver at kew206@lehigh.edu.

--Sarah Cooke



Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2008

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