Faculty Baseline Survey

Faculty baseline survey

A baseline survey on publicly-engaged research and teaching was conducted at the end of 2017 and solicited responses from individuals holding academic titles in the Academic Senate and Academic Federation across the ten colleges and professional schools at UC Davis.1

Here’s what we learned:

Who is doing this work?

  • 88% of respondents are engaged with non-university entities in their research.
  • 48% of respondents are engaged with non-university entities in their teaching. 
  • Associate Professors are more likely to experience difficulties compared to faculty with other titles.2

How do they feel about this work?

  • CE Specialists are likely to be very satisfied with the degree to which their research engages the public.
  • Associate Professors are likely to be unsatisfied with the degree to which their research engages the public.3
  • 71% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the degree to which their research engaged the public.
  • 50% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the degree to which their teaching engages the public.4

How does this work happen at UC Davis?

  • 48% of the respondents’ conduct their work in affiliation with a UC Davis institute, program, center, or initiative.
  • 28% of respondents receive funding through government agencies.
  • 18% of respondents receive funding through private foundations.
  • 15% of respondents receive funding through internal institutional grants.

How is the research shared?

  • 23% of respondents shared the results of their publicly-engaged research through a peer-reviewed journal articles or book/book chapters with an academic press.
  • 23% of respondents shared the results of their publicly-engaged research through presentations at academic conferences.

Where does this work happen?

  • 17% of respondents do work in the Sacramento metropolitan region.5
  • 34% of respondents indicated that their research and/or teaching happen outside the United States.6

What are some barriers to doing this work?

Two main barriers indicated by the respondents for practicing publicly-engaged research and/or teaching in a university setting:

  1. Not valuing such activities in merit and promotion.
  2. Lack of time to engage in such activities.7

How do we support this work?

Survey respondents selected these ways to support publicly-engaged research and/or teaching at UC Davis:

  1. Specific recognition of public engagement in merit and promotion
  2. Support to seek external funding
  3. Formal recognition in the form of university awards and grants for public engagement
  4. Better communication about existing activities and resources
  • 1. A total of 767 faculty participated in the survey. The highest response rate came from the College of Letters and Science (29%) and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (21%). One-half of all respondents were full professors, with a smaller share of Associate Professors (16%) and Assistant Professors (13%).
  • 2. There is a statistically significant association at 0.05 level of significance between the respondents’ titles and experiencing difficulty doing publicly-engaged research and/or teaching. Funding or difficulty accessing funding and time or inflexible teaching schedules were the most-cited barriers. Difficulties navigating the UCD bureaucracy, making connections outside the university, and difficulty finding opportunities were also cited as difficulties faculty experienced.
  • 3. There is a statistically significant association at 0.05 level of significance between the respondent’s titles and their extent of satisfaction with the degree to which their research engages the public.
  • 4. 37% of respondents were neither satisfied nor unsatisfied.
  • 5. This indicated that the Sacramento metropolitan region was the highest concentration of activities, followed by outside of California in the United States (15%), and in California (13%).
  • 6. Respondents undertake their UC Davis affiliated publicly-engaged research and/or teaching in a number of geographical regions and, as such, there is no one area that is the primary location for these activities.
  • 7. Among respondents whose research and/or teaching involves public engagement.