Can We Better Understand Supervisor Retention in Higher Education?

February 6, 2023

Share this

Title: THE CUPA-HR 2022 Higher Education Employee Retention Survey: Focus on Supervisors

Authors: Melissa Fuesting and Jennifer Schneider 

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)

CUPA-HR has released a new report that provides insight into employee retention in the field of higher education.

The report explores variables contributing to employee retention such as working environment, maintaining a work-life balance, ability to advocate for peers and staff, challenges faced monetarily, and access to professional development opportunities. The 2022 survey covered a total of 3,815 higher education administrators, professionals, and non-exempt staff. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed were supervisors.

Key findings from the survey are summarized below:

  • Supervisors seeking another job will consider job openings within their current organization 40 percent of the time.
  • A majority of area supervisors, as well as 76 percent of other supervisors at their institution, work more hours than what their institution considers full-time.
  • According to supervisors, only 59 percent are confident that they have the resources and support they need.
  • Less than half (46 percent) of supervisors agree that they have been provided with adequate management training for their supervisory role.
  • Supervisors (68 percent) are more likely than non-supervisors (55 percent) to agree that they have taken on additional responsibilities from departing staff. Additionally, supervisors (74 percent) are more likely than non-supervisors (55 percent) to report an increase in job expectations since the pandemic began.
  • Human resources accounted for the largest proportion of supervisor respondents (26 percent), followed by student affairs staff (25 percent). 

To retain supervisors at higher education institutions, CUPA-HR recommends:

  • Implementing internal policies that create flexible work arrangements.
  • Ensuring adequate advocacy for all levels of employment.
  • Redistributing workload rather than imposing additional responsibilities on supervisors as a result of vacancies.
  • Creating supportive working environments with room for professional growth.

To explore findings and methodological information about the report and survey, click here.

—Alexandria M. Falzarano

If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please contact us.

Keep Reading

Higher Education for the Nation’s Future

ACE President Ted Mitchell introduces the Council’s new Strategic Framework, which will underpin the organization for the next three years and help chart a successful course for the future of higher education.

June 20, 2018

Higher Education Has Changed. Will the Higher Education Act?

The perennial joke about any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) is that it’s like a Russian novel: It’s long, it’s boring, and by the end, everyone winds up dead. But as yet another HEA reauthorization rolls around, it’s a good bet that many of us will think there’s a fair amount of truth in that old chestnut, writes ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle.

October 18, 2013

A Path Forward for Faculty in Higher Education

The American higher education system, despite its challenges, remains the envy of the world. But to meet the needs of future students and maintain its vaunted status, U.S. colleges and universities must address a few important dynamics. The TIAA Institute’s Stephanie Bell-Rose looks at the path forward.

December 19, 2016