Great Colleges to Work For Survey Results
By: Sandy Dunham, University Communications
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2013 Great Colleges to Work For survey shows that employees rate Pacific Lutheran University “very good to excellent” in five major categories: pride, shared governance, teaching environment, supervisors/department chairs, and job satisfaction/support.
Now in its sixth year, the influential Chronicle Great Colleges program—billed as the largest and most-comprehensive survey in higher education—received responses from more than 34,000 faculty and staff at more than 300 public, private, and two-year colleges across the country. Designed for institutions seeking to be better employers, the survey offers insights on the quality of the schools’ workplace experience and on the competitiveness of their policies.
Based on results, the survey recognized 97 institutions nationwide for outstanding performance in at least one of 12 workplace categories (ranging from Professional Development to Facility, Workspace, and Security) and showcases job practices that employees value. For 2013, two Washington colleges were among the 97 recognized as Great Colleges to Work For: Western Washington University and Highline Community College.
In the survey, employees were asked to agree or disagree, using a five-point scale, with a series of 60 statements, such as: “Senior leadership provides a clear direction for this institution’s future.” The results reflect the average percentage of survey participants responded to the statements with “Strongly Agree” or “Agree.” PLU registered 345 respondents from 755 surveys, with an average positive response rate of 72%. The 42 colleges selected for the survey’s Honor Roll, meaning they were cited for recognition most often in their size group, averaged 79%.
Here’s how PLU’s top five categories ranked:
• Pride: 84%
• Shared Governance: 82%
• Teaching Environment: 78%
• Supervisors/Department Chairs: 78%
• Job Satisfaction/Support: 76%
The category Compensation, Benefits & Work-Life Balance scored the lowest among PLU respondents, at 66% (2013 Honor Roll average was 80%), with Communication next, at 67% (2013 Honor Roll average was 71%.) PLU results analyzed by job category show administrator responses were very positive, while faculty, non-exempt staff, and adjunct responses were slightly less so.
Nationwide, according to The Chronicle, the study found that higher education has distinct advantages for employees, particularly in promoting work-life balance and a culture in which employees take pride. Three-fourths of all employees responded positively to the statement: “This institution’s policies and practices give me the flexibility to manage my work and personal life.” And nearly three-fourths of all employees also agreed with the statement: “All things considered, this is a great place to work.” Learn more here.