Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, July 26, 2010

U-M makes Chronicle best workplaces honor roll

For the third consecutive year, U-M is featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For, the publication’s editors announced today (July 26).

The university also made this year’s honor roll, a list of 39 two- and four-year institutions that are recognized the most in several categories.

“This national honor is a credit to the vast contributions of faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses,” President Mary Sue Coleman wrote in a note to faculty and staff. She praised U-M employees “for making the university such a vibrant community and attractive workplace.”

U-M was recognized in the following areas:

Diversity — The institution makes a concerted effort to create a welcoming and fair environment for all its employees.

More information
Read more about the survey at

Professional Career Development Program — Employees are given the opportunity to develop skills and understand requirements to advance in their careers.

Work Life Balance — Policies give employees the flexibility to manage their personal lives.

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

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

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

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

The Chronicle uses ModernThink LLC, a human capital consulting firm, to conduct surveys of employees at participating institutions. For the 2010 survey, 277 institutions participated, and 42,575 administrators, faculty members and professional support staff members took the survey, according to the Chronicle. Ninety-seven colleges and universities made the list.

“What is most gratifying about this award is that it reflects what those who work for the University of Michigan feel about their workplace,” says Phil Hanlon, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “In an environment where universities are competing for the brightest minds and best talent, it is important to have this strong voice of support for the university from our current employees.”

At each college or university, 400-600 randomly selected faculty and professional staff members are surveyed, depending on size of the institution. Each participating college or university also conducts an audit of demographics and workplace policies. Greater weight is given to the feedback from employees, according to the Chronicle.

When the Chronicle started the survey three years ago, editors said it was in response to the interest they witnessed from people who wanted to work in higher education but who had little information on which workplaces were being innovative in their employee programs. This kind of report card is even more important in the current environment, those involved with the survey say.

“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,” writes Richard Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC.

“Even in a down economy when many colleges are freezing salaries or having layoffs, employees still find good in their work,” Chronicle Editor Jeffrey Selingo writes.