UIC Faculty Exit Surveys and Interviews

 1.  Program Overview

The UIC Faculty Exit Survey was launched in Spring 2016, to help the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs achieve an understanding of the institutional (and other) variables that influence faculty decisions to leave the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is hoped the information provided will improve workplace quality of life and faculty retention at UIC.  The objectives of the program are to give executive officers information regarding faculty members’ decisions to leave UIC; help identify trends that may contribute to faculty departure; and provide data to make evidence-based decisions and interventions as needed to increase retention. Results are reported annually, in aggregate, to the Deans of the academic colleges and are used for planning purposes.

All exiting faculty meeting the inclusion criteria (tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure system faculty in the promotable ranks with 50% or greater FTE, who are retiring or have provided written notice) are invited to participate in a confidential online survey and/or face-to-face interview. Faculty with 49% or lower FTE, or those leaving due to non-renewal of contract, terminal contract, or any other involuntary separation, are not invited to participate.  (Although the viewpoints and experiences of faculty in this group may be of value, this program is concerned with faculty who have voluntarily chosen to leave UIC.)

The online survey contains items similar to those used by many other universities, addressing reasons for leaving the university, asking about the relative effectiveness of various components of the university, and requesting perceptions of climate and diversity.  The survey was designed so that a single instrument would be applicable to all invited faculty, without filtering respondents into subgroups based on, for example, college or area of expertise.  The instrument contained a mix of open and closed questions, with an emphasis on the latter.  No names or contact information are requested, and respondents are permitted to skip any item they do not wish to answer.

2.  Timeline and Process

The exit interview process is scheduled to be completed each semester.  The Campus Coordinating Officer (CCO) surveys college HR contacts to identify exiting faculty meeting the eligibility requirements. The CCO invites exiting faculty to participate in the survey, and extends an invitation to participate in a face-to-face interview in addition to or instead of completing the survey.  The interview provides the opportunity for respondents to discuss the material in greater depth than possible in the survey.

Most surveys and interviews will be conducted at the end of the semester, but faculty leaving at other times are also encouraged to participate in the process.

College HR Representatives:

End of term separations. College HR representatives will be contacted approximately five weeks prior to the end of each semester, and asked to provide the names and email addresses of faculty meeting the inclusion criteria. Generally you will be given three weeks to provide that information.

Separations at other times. When a faculty member submits a resignation coinciding with a time other than the end of a semester, please provide the individual’s name and email address to the CCO at facultyexit@uic.edu so that we may invite the individual to complete the survey and/or interview.


End of term separations. You will be contacted approximately two weeks before the end of the semester, and invited to participate in the survey and/or interview.  We will use the information provided by the college HR representatives to contact you. You are also welcome to contact the CCO at facultyexit@uic.edu.

Separations at other times. Although you will be invited to participate in the process if we have been given your name, we encourage you to reach out to the CCO at facultyexit@uic.edu to obtain the link to the survey and, if you wish, to be interviewed.