PULLMAN — WSU ranks among the top 40 U.S. academic institutions in the “Best Places to Work in Academia 2008” survey published in the November issue of the magazine The Scientist.
The survey collected information from 2,313 self-selected respondents from 72 different institutions. Respondents were life scientists in tenured or tenure-track positions working in academia or other non-commercial research institutions. U.S. organizations that received fewer than five responses were omitted from the rankings.
WSU is No. 28 in the list –up from No. 57 last year– and ranks higher than Purdue, Duke and the University of California, Los Angeles. Survey respondents listed the tenure system, teaching and mentoring as the institution’s strengths, while peers, infrastructure and environment are listed as WSU’s weaknesses.
WSU respondents rated highly statements such as “my institution provides adequate resources to support my teaching and mentoring duties” and “the administration allows flexibility in balancing research, teaching and mentoring duties”. Regarding tenure, WSU respondents agreed with statements such as “the tenure system at my institution is clearly laid out” and “the tenure review process has been applied fairly to different faculty members.”
The five most important factors listed by respondents from all U.S. institutions surveyed were job satisfaction, peers, tenure, research resources and pay. Other categories included in the ranking system were teaching and mentoring; infrastructure and environment; and management and policies.