July 25, 2011—North Central College 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 today in The Chronicle’s fourth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of nearly 44,000 employees at 310 colleges and universities.
The College was recognized in the Collaborative Governance category, which acknowledges that faculty members are actively involved in decisions related to academic programs.
“Faculty members at North Central College have a variety of opportunities to be involved in the important decisions that affect the institution,” says Stephen Maynard Caliendo, chair of the College’s Division of Human Thought and Behavior and professor of political science. “Directly and through representatives, we are integrally connected with policymaking related to the academic lives of our students and our own professional development.”
Effective communication is the key to a successful governance system in an academic setting, says Lisa Long, speaker of the faculty and professor of English. North Central’s shared governance system gives faculty and staff access to important information and to key decision-making processes where they can work persuasively to try and effect change, she says.
“Change can be generated from a variety of points in the organization—not just from the top down—and are vetted by multiple constituencies looking at issues through numerous disciplinary and professional lenses,” Long says. “In particular, our distinctive divisional and committee structures encourage all of us to think institutionally, rather than just departmentally, which advances the mission of the college. Thus our governance process is deliberative, well-informed and collaborative, and our faculty are deeply invested in it.”
In all, only 111 of the 310 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with North Central College included among the small colleges with 2,999 or fewer students. This is the first time North Central has participated in the survey.
North Central receives the recognition as the College celebrates its Sesquicentennial, marking 150 years since classes were first held on Nov. 11, 1861.
“North Central College has a rich tradition of administrators, faculty and staff working together to advance the mission of the College,” says R. Devadoss Pandian, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty.
The Chronicle is the nation’s most important source of news about colleges and universities.
“With the Great Colleges program, The Chronicle can provide even more of the vital information our readers rely on—unbiased reporting on which colleges are being innovative in their workplace practices,” said Jeffrey J. Selingo, 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 chronicle.com/academicworkplace.
Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit northcentralcollege.edu to learn more.