2023 Faces of Faculty: The Instructor Experience [White Paper]

Cover and pages of Faces of Faculty Report
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Colleen Zajac is a Senior Copywriter at Cengage with a zest for learning. She loves rock climbing, mountain biking and coffee—not necessarily in that order


In 2022, we launched our first “Faces of Faculty” report, bringing to light the needs, concerns and realities of higher education instructors in the wake of the pandemic.

Today, we’re back with our second annual “Faces of Faculty.” We asked instructors around the country about their job satisfaction, responsibilities and expectations―and how much has changed since last year. So, how do they feel now?

Faculty’s top concerns are student expectations, plagiarism and mental health

Faculty find it challenging to keep up with rapidly shifting student expectations―which partially comes from a changed high school experience due to COVID-19. And with the increase of AI-driven technologies, comes a rise in new cheating and plagiarism possibilities. Furthermore, students are relying on faculty more for support and counseling―and while instructors want to help, it’s taking a toll on their own mental health.

  • 58% of faculty say that adapting to new student needs is a relevant issue.
  • 49% of faculty find combating cheating a top concern, up from 37% in 2022.
  • Mental health concerns have risen from 34% in 2022 to 40% in 2023.

Now, let’s jump to the good part: More instructors are satisfied

Despite all of the above, faculty satisfaction has increased. More faculty than last year are content and feel stable in their jobs. They’re leaning on available tools to tackle their top challenges and finding smart solutions like the resilient bosses they are.

Big applause.

Of course, this doesn’t mean they should go it alone. Like students, faculty members deserve support. There’s an opportunity for institutional leaders to support faculty members and close some of the gaps between what faculty need and what they’re getting―so they can keep teaching at their very best.

Ready to explore all the “Faces of Faculty” findings?