Faculty report poor morale, low satisfaction with Board of Regents

Emily DeLetter

WKU faculty morale has been ranked “poor” or “very poor” by more than 80 percent of faculty, according to the 2017-2018 Faculty Work Life Survey.

The survey covered the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters and asked faculty about workload and workload satisfaction, tenure, promotion and merit increases, and President Timothy Caboni and former Provost David Lee’s performances. The full survey can be found online.

Respondents were asked to rank their satisfaction and experiences either as “strongly agree,” “agree,” “neutral,” “disagree” or “strongly disagree.” They could also opt to answer with “no basis for judgement” to each question. 


Out of the 515 total respondents, 184 said morale was “poor” and 188 said morale was “very poor.” 

Faculty also responded negatively to the merit increase process, which rewards more productive and higher-performing workers. Forty percent of faculty said that they strongly disagreed with satisfaction for the merit increase process.

Almost 50 percent of respondents agreed that Caboni conveyed accurate information about current issues important to the faculty in a timely manner. Forty-five percent also said they agreed that Caboni articulated a clear vision for WKU based on its mission and values. 

Similar results were found for former Provost David Lee, who was replaced for the 2018-2019 year by Terry Ballman. Lee now serves as WKU’s historian. A majority of respondents said they agreed that Lee developed and implemented plans and policies that reflected WKU’s mission.

While Caboni and Lee gathered more positive responses, 30 percent strongly disagreed that the Board of Regents made academics a top priority and almost 130 faculty disagreed it was upholding “its responsibility to ensure that the institution’s resources are dedicated to the institution’s mission.”

Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.