Social & Education Policy
 

Study

University of Iowa faculty and staff parental leave project

Two adults look at their baby.

In spring 2016, a survey was administered to all faculty and staff at the University of Iowa. A total of 2,512 responded to the survey, representing an overall response rate of 14 percent.

The goal of the survey was to obtain information about the experiences and perceptions of parental leave among faculty and staff at the University of Iowa.

Key findings for experiences of leave and/or accommodations

  • Whereas nearly 65 percent of staff members reported being satisfied with the leave received, only 46 percent of faculty members felt the same way. The leading cause of dissatisfaction mentioned by 30 percent of parents was that the amount of time they received was not adequate.
  • Just over half of respondents (56 percent) expressed satisfaction with the process of requesting and negotiating leave. The most commonly reported reason for dissatisfaction with the process of requesting and negotiating leave, mentioned by 40 percent of respondents, was difficulty obtaining reliable and consistent information.

Key findings for climate around parental leave

  • Overall, nearly 78 percent of respondents agreed that their colleagues were supportive. However, only 52 percent of respondents agreed that their department or unit chair was willing to accommodate family needs.
  • Overall, 64 percent of respondents perceived the climate surrounding parental leave in their department or unit as “good,” whereas only 48 percent of respondents perceived the overall university climate as “good.”

This report summarizes the results from this survey, including respondent’s suggestions for improvements regarding the experience of taking parental leave at the University of Iowa as well as for improving the overall climate surrounding parental leave.