Skip to content

Inside HigherEd Survey: Provosts Face the Pandemic

Provosts Face the Pandemic

“Provosts are confident in the academic quality of their institutions, despite negative changes brought about by the pandemic, according to the 2021 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers, published today by Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research.

While expressing confidence, the provosts were not blind to the costs of the pandemic and academic leaders’ choices about how institutions should respond. About one in four provosts said that their institution had cut faculty positions during the pandemic. They said most of the positions were adjuncts (67 percent), but also cut were nontenured, tenure-track faculty (19 percent).

More provosts from private institutions than public ones said that the humanities disciplines were disproportionately cut (33 percent versus 4 percent).

Provosts also said:

  • Institutions will probably offer more hybrid and online courses after the pandemic.
  • About six in 10 provosts indicate that their faculty members feel at least very or extremely engaged with their work, but far smaller percentages report that their faculty feel very or extremely connected to (18 percent) or supported by (38 percent) the administration.
  • Their institutions are re-examining their curriculum to assure it is inclusive and diverse (64 percent) as well as adopting new diversity goals for faculty and staff hiring (52 percent). More provosts from private institutions (69 percent) report that their faculty were very or extremely receptive to these changes than do those from public ones (49 percent).
More on the SurveyInside Higher Ed’s 2021 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers was conducted by Hanover Research for the first time this year. The survey included 183 provosts from public, private nonprofit and for-profit institutions. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Inside Higher Ed regularly surveys key higher ed professionals on a range of topics.

On Wednesday, May 26, Inside Higher Ed will present a free webcast to discuss the results of the survey. Please register here.

The Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers was made possible in part by support from Oracle, Wiley Education Services, APL nextED, D2L, AWS and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

  • Although provosts believe that a liberal arts education is essential for a quality education, they also indicate that it is in decline. While 93 percent agree that a liberal arts education is central to undergraduate studies, 73 percent said that they expect to see the number of liberal arts colleges decline significantly over the next five years. Additionally, most (92 percent) say that liberal arts education is not well understood in the U.S.
  • Most provosts (84 percent) agree that a high-quality undergraduate education requires healthy departments in fields like English. But they also note that politicians and board members are prioritizing STEM and professional programs over general education (72 percent). Furthermore, only 28 percent believe that there will be major allocations of funds to arts and science programs in their institution’s next budget.
  • Around nine in 10 provosts report that their college responds effectively and fairly to allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Sixty percent do not believe graduate students should be able to unionize, and only 4 percent of provosts indicate that their colleges have graduate student unions. The biggest factor guiding those who do not want graduate student unions is the belief that graduate students are primarily students, and employees second.”

Posted on: May 2, 2021, 6:07 am Category: Uncategorized

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.