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Articles: Human Resources

University administrators are faced with many challenges, from better financial management to streamlining operations to staying competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining both staff and students.

For the majority of universities, talent management is a relatively untapped opportunity, and it offers both HR professionals and leaders of higher education institutions a proven and practical way to drive competitive advantage.

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will conduct an investigation into whether Penn State University failed to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in regard to allegations of sexual misconduct on campus by a former Penn State football coach.

Many organizations focus training efforts on developing technical skills, explains Kim Ruyle, VP, managing principal at Korn/Ferry Leadership Talent & Consulting in Miami. Yet, work behaviors, attitudes, and values are more likely to get employees fired. To help employees grow and remain engaged, Ruyle suggests:

It wasn't long ago that I believed there was nothing new in employee training or professional development. My inbox was filled with emails about new employee workshops and online training programs covering the same old topics. And there were phone calls from consultants, bragging about this or that traditional training program.


As far back as 1995, Sacred Heart University (Conn.) was requiring all full-time undergraduates to purchase a laptop; as early as 2002, Sacred Heart students, faculty, and staff enjoyed campuswide Wi-Fi.

Yet this self-described "pioneer in mobile computing" spent years outsourcing technical support to an off-campus call center.

Limited hours of operation, unpredictable wait times, and lackluster customer service frustrated university officials; the expense and lack of reliability and accountability were drags on the institution's bottom line.


It wasn't an idea mentioned at a conference or a snippet noted in a magazine or a suggestion from a listserv that sparked Jamie Belinne's brainstorm. It was the time she spent waiting in her doctor's office during an illness six years ago.


There were any number of reasons why The George Washington University needed to automate the way it paid stipends to the thousands of students who work there as tutors, teachers, researchers, or facilitators.

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Think back to your first week on the job. Amidst the endless paperwork and the time you spent figuring out your new voicemail system, you probably sat in a conference room for an hour or two and participated in an employee benefits orientation session … with maybe one or two other new hires, if that.

smoke-free campus sign

Imagine it's the end of the semester. Students are pulling all-nighters to complete term papers and study for final exams. The stress level is off the charts, and some students reach for the pack of cigarettes for a "quick smoke" to help calm their nerves. For the growing number of colleges and universities that have adopted tobacco-free policies, this is their final exam.

The second year of the ongoing Models of Efficiency program continues to demonstrate that campus departments can be innovative and inspired when it comes to finding ways to provide superior service and maximize resources.

"We believe that improving the efficiency of administrative services yields cost savings and reputation benefits that can propel a college into the top tier of success," noted Miles Lasater, chief operations officer and cofounder of Higher One, which has sponsored the Models of Efficiency program from the start.

The idea that faculty members are uniquely qualified to determine the direction, standards, and practices of the institutions at which they teach and do research has been a tenet in higher education. At many colleges and universities, the faculty has almost sole responsibility for hiring, promoting, and granting tenure to its own.

University of California, San Diego Chancellor Mary Anne Fox has announced she will step down in June 2012 after nearly eight years of service. The 2010 recipient of the National Medal of Science, Fox will return to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to teach and conduct research. During Fox's tenure, UC San Diego successfully completed a $1 billion-dollar capital campaign, celebrated the campus' 50th anniversary, and expanded at an unprecedented pace to accommodate increasing numbers of students and a billion-dollar research enterprise.

Research has shown that minority students are more likely to succeed when faculty and staff are equally diverse. While many institutions are still trying to boost campus diversity, Ivy Tech Community College (Ind.) doesn't have that problem.

There has been a rash of major embezzlement cases cropping up like a pox at institutions of higher learning all around the country. While employee theft occurs daily at all types of organizations, we have tracked a disproportionate number of significant misappropriations at U.S. colleges and universities. The damage, while significant, is not only financial. Institutional reputation, alumni relations, endowment growth, employee productivity, and even enrollment, can all be negatively affected by a major defalcation.

"Leave your personal problems at the door." There are probably some managers who still support the antiquated belief that employees can shut off personal problems like a light switch once they set foot in the workplace. But how can a worker ignore the fact that he or she has lost a home, maxed out credit cards, drained the savings account, or stopped being able to pay the electric bill?