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Week of August 13, 2012

U-M featured on Chronicle’s 2012 best workplaces list

U-M is one of the best university workplaces in the United States, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2012 Great Colleges to Work For. The list was announced by the publication’s editors Aug. 6 and marked the fifth consecutive year the university has been recognized.

“This recognition is a credit to the U-M faculty and staff whose contributions continue to affect the world, and it affirms the collaborative community they’ve helped to build on our campus,” President Mary Sue Coleman says.

The university was listed in nine of 12 categories, and also was named as a 2012 Honor Roll school for being highly rated in more than four categories. U-M won honors in the following areas:

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

• Teaching Environment — Faculty members say the institution recognizes innovation and high-quality teaching.

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

• Facilities, Workspace 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.

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

• Tenure Clarity and Process — Requirements for tenure are clear, faculty members say.

The Chronicle uses ModernThink LLC, a human capital consulting firm, to conduct surveys of faculty and staff at participating institutions. For the 2012 survey, 294 institutions took part, and more than 46,000 administrators, faculty members and professional support staff members took the survey, according to the Chronicle. Of the institutions that participated, 103 colleges and universities made the list.

“The university places a high priority on creating an environment that enables faculty and staff to do their best work. We value the contributions of all our employees in making Michigan a great place to work,” Provost Phil Hanlon says. “We are pleased and proud to be recognized in so many categories of the Chronicle’s survey.”

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.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that 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,” writes Richard Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC.

“The formula for success continues to evolve, yet there are certain common features among institutions that achieve significant levels of worker satisfaction,” says Liz McMillen, the Chronicle’s editor. “The Great Colleges to Work For program allows our readers to learn about colleges that seem to be getting it right.”

 

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“DNA and the Tree of Life” exhibit, through Oct. 19, Museum of Natural History rotunda.

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