Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Exit Feedback


The Faculty Exit Study — an ongoing effort led by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research — offers each tenured or tenure-track faculty member who is leaving Penn State an opportunity to participate in an exit interview, an exit survey, or both. The goals of this study are to better understand the experiences of tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Penn State and to respond to faculty concerns.

UPDATED FOR 2020-21 to 2021-22: Exit Survey for Departing Faculty Members (administered through Qualtrics)
The current survey for departing Penn State faculty members is available here. 


Exit Interview Questions for Departing Faculty Members (downloadable Microsoft Word files)


The Process

Each college and campus designates one faculty member as an Exit Interview Officer (EIO). The EIO might be a current faculty member, one who retired within the past two years, or an ombudsperson. The EIO is not a human resources representative or someone who reports directly to the dean/chancellor. Diversity is an important consideration when selecting an EIO.

See the list of 2019-2020 Exit Interview Officers

All tenured and tenure-track departing faculty members – whether they are leaving as a result of other job offers or opportunities, denial of tenure, or retirement – are invited to be interviewed and complete the survey. The human resources (HR) representative or director of business services (DBS) for the unit forwards the names of departing faculty members to the appropriate EIO. The EIO contacts the faculty member to encourage him or her to participate in the survey and/or exit interview. The EIO is encouraged to stay in contact with the HR representative or DBS for his or her unit.

If the departing faculty member or college or campus officials believe the exit interview should be conducted by an administrator in the Provost’s office (e.g., the Provost or one of his Vice Provosts), rather than by the college EIO, that can be arranged. Faculty who ask to be heard at both levels are given that opportunity. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is the contact person in the Provost’s Office. Exit interviews for minority faculty can also include an interview with the senior faculty mentor.

The interview process is confidential, but responses will be shared with the Provost and, with the faculty member’s permission, with the appropriate dean or chancellor. EIOs should print a copy of the interview questions (see above) appropriate to the reason the faculty member is departing. A written copy of the interview notes is passed on to the relevant dean or chancellor unless the EIO has been asked not to share information with the dean or chancellor, and to the Provost. Interviewees may choose whether or not they want their names identified when these responses are shared. Copies of the responses are forwarded to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Staff in the Office of Planning. Assessment, and Institutional Research summarize the interview and survey responses and report them biennially in aggregate in order to ensure the confidentiality of individual responses. Although demographic information is an important part of the analyses, in cases where individuals might be identifiable due to the demographic coding, breakdowns that reveal those figures are not disseminated. The goal is to understand faculty concerns so that the University can be more responsive to them.


For More Information

For more information about this process, please contact the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research.