August 22, 2012PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The results, released earlier this week in The Chronicle's fifth annual report on "The Academic Workplace," are based on a survey of more than 46,000 employees at 294 colleges and universities. In all, only 103 of the 294 institutions achieved "Great College to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies. Plymouth State won honors in two categories this year:
Teaching Environment – PSU faculty say the institution recognizes innovative and high-quality teaching. They agree with statements like 'Teaching is appropriately recognized in the evaluation-and-promotion process.'
Tenure Clarity and Process – PSU faculty said requirements for tenure are clear. Employees agree with statements like 'Promotions in my department are based on a person's ability.'
"This is a wonderful affirmation of our efforts to be a preferred employer, but our real goal is not the recognition. It is to be a community that recognizes the needs and contributions of every individual, and serves our students exceptionally well. Everyone on our institutional team helps to make this a great place for faculty and staff to work, and for students to learn," said PSU President Sara Jayne Steen.
PSU Faculty Speaker Francis Williams, a criminal justice associate professor, said the University is responsive to suggestions and concerns of faculty, which fosters a supportive atmosphere.
"What makes PSU a great place to work is the collegiality of the faculty and their commitment to the students," Williams said. "It is a commitment that I experience and observe each and every day in my collaborations with colleagues, and in my interactions with students. "
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Julie Bernier was pleased to see PSU recognized in the categories of Teaching Environment and Tenure Clarity and Process. "The faculty take great pride in the curriculum and in their roles with students and therefore the teaching environment is important," she said. "I am especially pleased that the faculty are feeling good about the recent revisions to Promotion and Tenure process and guidelines. The process by which the recent revisions were made was a perfect example of shared governance where faculty and administration worked together over several years to significantly clarify, revise, and improve the P&T guidelines and process. When the new guidelines went before the full faculty for endorsement, it was a unanimous vote!"
This is the second time PSU has participated in the survey, and the second time PSU was named a Great College to Work For.
"PSU is a great college to work for," said Bernier.
"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," said Liz McMillen, The Chronicle's editor.
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.
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.
Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle's Web site at http