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Baylor University named among 'Great Colleges to Work For'

MGN-Online

University receives Honor Roll designation from The Chronicle of Higher Education for third consecutive year

Monday, July 22, 2013 - 1:12pm

For the third year in a row, Baylor University joined an elite group of universities named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2013 Honor Roll as one of the country's "Great Colleges to Work For." Only 42 national universities were awarded honor roll status.

The results, released in The Chronicle's sixth annual report on "The Academic Workplace," are based on a survey of more than 44,000 employees at 300 colleges and universities. In all, only 97 of the 300 institutions achieved "Great College to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium and large institutions, with Baylor included among the large universities with 10,000 or more students.

Baylor achieved recognition in 11 categories this year, one of only two large universities on the Honor Roll to do so. (The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor was the other.)

Baylor was cited for excellence in:

• Collaborative Governance: Faculty members are appropriately involved in decisions related to academic programs.

• Professional/Career-Development Programs: Employees are given the opportunity to develop skills and understand requirements to advance in their careers.

• Teaching Environment: Faculty members say the institution recognizes innovative and high-quality teaching.

• Compensation and Benefits: Pay is fair, and benefits meet the needs of employees.

• Facilities, Workspaces and Security: Facilities adequately meet needs, the appearance of the campus is pleasing, and the institution takes steps to provide a secure environment.

• Job Satisfaction and Support: Provides insight into the satisfaction with job fit, autonomy and resources.

• Work/Life Balance: Policies give employees the flexibility to manage their personal lives.

• Confidence in Senior Leadership: Leaders have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for institutional success.

• Supervisor or Department-Chair Relationship: Supervisors make expectations clear and solicit ideas.

• Respect and Appreciation: Employees are regularly recognized for their contributions.

• Tenure Clarity and Process (four-year colleges only): Requirements for tenure are clear, faculty members say.

The Chronicle specifically highlighted Baylor for the University's continuing campus-wide wellness initiative, Naturally Slim, in which participating employees have lost a total of nearly 3,500 pounds since the program began a year ago. The Chronicle also lauded Baylor for its shared sick-leave program that encourages faculty and staff to donate their unused sick days to those in need.

"We are pleased to hear that Baylor has again been recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education and among our peers in the higher education community as a 'Great College to Work For' and as one of only two large universities to earn Honor Roll status," said Elizabeth Davis, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost. "Baylor is a genuinely rewarding place to work, filled with energetic and talented faculty and staff who are inspired by the university's mission of combining academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. The findings are based on the responses of Baylor faculty and staff themselves, so we know they are proud of the institution they serve and appreciative of many elements of their work environment."

Baylor was first recognized in 2009 by The Chronicle as a "Great College to Work For." In 2011 and 2012, the University received even greater recognition when it was elevated to Honor Roll status.

"The Chronicle's Great Colleges program provides readers with important information about the colleges and institutions we cover," said Liz McMillen, editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education. "The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences - while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences - and we are eager to help readers learn more about them."

According to The Chronicle, the survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

Now in its sixth year, the Great Colleges program has become one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous "Best Places to Work" programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

"It's easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it's when times are tough that the commitment to workplace quality really gets tested. And those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent," said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC.


For more information and to view the results of the survey, visit http://chronicle.com/section/Academic-Workplace-2013/729/.

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