By Director of Operations, Karen Kukulka

The world is looking very different these days, and that means higher education is changing as well. In an effort to deliver the most timely and thorough workplace engagement survey possible to our clients, we have redesigned our ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey© to better align with the current themes of workplace engagement. In addition to being the primary assessment tool for our higher education clients across the country, this survey is also used in the annual Great Colleges to Work For program.

Our updated instrument includes eleven new survey statements and four new survey themes including Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging; Faculty & Staff Well-being and Performance Management. We also added a Faculty Experience survey theme, which drills down to assess hurdles that are specific to faculty and adjuncts so that colleges can more accurately pinpoint issues unique to their instructors, and remedy them more effectively. The updated survey also includes substantial revisions to our demographics. New questions around remote work and gender identity are intended to create a more inclusive experience for those completing the survey, and yield actionable data for today’s college workplace.

A panel of our colleagues from across higher education helped shape the final survey instrument. The panel included representatives from two- and four- year institutions, hailing from departments in research, diversity, administration, and more. We also included panelists from respected higher education organizations like CUPA-HR. To see the revised survey in its entirety, or to schedule a call to learn more about the changes in this year’s program, please contact ModernThink at 888-684-4685 or

In accordance with the survey upgrades, our recognition categories have also been updated. We will now be honoring Great Colleges participants in Faculty & Staff Well-being and Mission & Pride, in addition to mainstays in college employee engagement excellence like Shared Governance, Confidence in Senior Leadership and Professional Development. Our methodology for determining recognition in the program will remain the same, and you can learn more about that process here.

People are constantly changing with the world around them, and so too must our methods for engaging employees be ever evolving and improving. The Great Colleges Program team strives to deliver a survey that is both of the moment and enduring enough to allow us to provide benchmarks across the more than 1,200 participants who have contributed to our research. To those participants and the many more to come, we thank you for coming on our journey to improve higher education, one college workplace at a time.


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