MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XVII No. 5
May/June 2005
Provost Responds to
Professor Postol's Allegations
International Students and Scholars:
A Legacy for MIT and the U.S.
Lorna Gibson New Chair of the Faculty
Back to the Future
Academic Expectations
Strengthening TA Training
Faculty Mentor Program:
A Growing Success
Advising and Mentoring of Undergraduates
Mission to Banda Aceh:
Excerpts from a Journal
Summer Without Summering;
Slave Huts, Bonaire
The Purpose of Poetry
Survey Says:
Faculty Approve of Updated Lunch Program
Alumni Attitudes and Involvement
Tenure and Promotion
[from the 2004 Faculty Survey]
Have you ever considered leaving MIT? [from the 2004 Faculty Survey]
Printable Version

Survey Says: Faculty Approve of
Updated Lunch Program

Lydia Snover

About 10 years ago, the Faculty Lunch program was established for faculty, senior research, and instructional staff. The program is intended to provide a collegial environment that will promote informal interactions between members of the faculty outside traditional departmental and research boundaries.

In September, the Faculty Lunch program was relocated from Walker to the fourth floor of the Stata Center.

This past winter, the Provost asked a small group of faculty and staff to evaluate the current operation and, if need be, make recommendations for improvement.

In order to facilitate this evaluation, the committee constructed a short survey that included questions for people who have not participated in the Faculty Lunch program as well as those that had participated. The survey was administered in the spring of 2005 by the Institutional Research Group on behalf of the committee. All faculty, instructional staff, senior researchers, and faculty emeritus were invited to complete the survey online; slightly more than 51% of those invited to respond completed it. Of those that responded, 68% had participated in the faculty lunch program at the Stata Center. Of the individuals who had not been to the Stata Center location, almost 40% did not know it existed. But of those people who had been to Stata, only 15% had only been once.

Overall Rating of the Faculty Lunch Program
Overall Rating of the Faculty Lunch Program (click on image to enlarge)

Although the faculty lunch program is intended to serve faculty, senior research, and instructional staff, individuals are welcome to bring guests. Of the people who had participated, 57% reported that they had brought a guest, including non-faculty colleagues (58%), graduate students (41%), visitors (69%), and friends and spouses (26%).

Importance of Faculty Lunchroom
Importance of the Faculty Lunchroom
(click on image to enlarge)

Overall, almost 70% of the individuals who had participated in the Faculty Lunch program rated it very good or excellent, and 56% rated their ability to interact with other faculty at the Stata center as very good to excellent. The survey asked a series of questions about other aspects of the program, including food, hours of operation, and environment. The data on these questions will be used to evaluate the program and plan for improvements.

The final question on the survey asked how important it was to maintain the faculty lunch program. Overall 65% of the respondents said it was very important or essential and only 3.4% said it was unimportant. Of the tenured and tenure track faculty who responded, over 70% rated it as essential or very important.

In addition to the quantitative ratings gathered through the survey, many participants provided qualitative comments. These comments, along with analysis, have been provided to the committee as part of their evaluation of the Faculty Lunch program.

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