Hardin-Simmons University has been cited as one of the top ten best four-year universities in its category by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle released its 2012 list today of “Great Colleges to Work For” and HSU is one of only five four-year colleges in Texas to be listed on the Honor Roll, regarded as the best of the best, according to The Chronicle.
The Chronicle identified 12 features of excellent academic workplaces and asked faculty and staff at colleges of all sizes and types from across the country to assess their employers in those terms. Of the participating universities, 103 were recognized as a 2012 “Great College to Work For.”
This year The Chronicle of Higher Education's “Great Colleges to Work For” survey is based on responses from nearly 44,000 people at 294 institutions. Four-year colleges and universities accounted for 221 of the institutions, and two-year colleges for 73 that participated in the survey. All accredited institutions in the United States are invited to participate for free.
“The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences, while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences,” says Liz McMillen, The Chronicle’s editor. “We are eager to help our readers learn more about these colleges and universities,” she says.
The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captures 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.
Approximately 20,000 of the people responding were faculty members, about 15,000 were professional staff members, and about 8,000 were administrators. The survey was sent to almost 111,000 people, with an overall response rate of about 40%.
Honor Roll recognition for four-year colleges like HSU was given to 10 institutions, in each of the three size categories, which were cited most often among the 12 identified features of an excellent workplace.
HSU excelled in the categories of:
· Professional/Career Development Programs
· Confidence in Senior Leadership
· Job Satisfaction
· Work/Life Balance
· Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship
“"This is a very satisfying affirmation of HSU, but our real goal is not recognition, it’s being a community that values the needs and contributions of every individual. In that sense everyone at HSU helps to make this a great place to work,” said HSU President Dr. Lanny Hall.
“We also work to make HSU a great place to attend. Our 20-year-old tuition guarantee program, which freezes a students’ tuition rate their freshman year has been well received, as has our zero percent tuition increase for this year’s incoming freshmen and transfer students,” says Hall. “When students arrive on campus, this value becomes clear as they experience upgraded dorms, and upgraded dining and exercise facilities. This time last summer, we upgraded our wireless and broadband technology so we could continue to deliver new online capabilities to our students.”
“In light of increasing public concern about the cost of higher education, The Chronicle is focused more than ever on providing the necessary information that helps our readers make informed choices,” says McMillen. “We find year after year in the Great Colleges survey that many educators and administrators are thinking critically about how to improve the cost effectiveness and workplace efficiency of their institutions. The Great Colleges program is our way of highlighting their efforts,” she says.
About the survey:
In the Great Colleges program, each institution was asked to submit a list of full-time employees randomly selected across three categories: administration, faculty, and professional staff. The sample size, up to either 400 or 600, was based on the number of employees in those categories. Institutions with fewer than 400 people in a category were invited to survey the entire employee population.
The assessment process had two components: a questionnaire about institutional characteristics and a faculty/staff questionnaire about individuals’ evaluations of their institutions. The assessment also included an analysis of demographic data and workplace policies at each participating college or university. The questionnaires were administered online in March and April of this year.
Survey respondents were asked to respond to 60 statements using a five-point scale, ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with 18 benefits, respond to two open-ended questions, and answer 15 demographic questions.
The assessment was administered by ModernThink LLC, a human-resources-consulting firm based in Wilmington, Del. Its survey instrument is based on an assessment that has been used in 55 Best Places to Work programs involving more than 4,000 organizations. A panel of higher-education experts has helped to customize the survey to reflect issues unique to colleges.
You can read the complete list of colleges, see exceptional performers in our Honor Roll, search particular categories, compare different institutions, and learn about our methodology. The survey shows, among many things, how important respect and appreciation are to employees. And a series of news features show ways that good relationships with supervisors help Great Colleges cope with crises, how they foster shared governance, and how they create attractive compensation.
Other four-year Texas colleges and universities, other than HSU, listed on the Honor Roll include:
Baylor University (first time)
Sam Houston State
Texas Christian University (first time)
University of Incarnate Word
(This is the second year HSU has attained Honor Roll status and the fourth year HSU has been named as a “Great College to Work For.”)