Anthony Frank, president of Colorado State University, issued a campuswide challenge in 2012: Make CSU a model school where everyone can work and learn.
An important first step was making the school more accommodating to the needs of women. One strategy was opening a child care center last fall and adding comfortable seating in lactation rooms. Since then, the school has received a $50,000 donation toward the initiative, says Amy Parsons, vice president of operations.
In the midst of shrinking budgets and staff, HR professionals at colleges and universities can take advantage of an often overlooked resource to help accomplish their goals.
Consider working with alumni—they typically possess a wealth of campus knowledge and skills. And they’re often eager to assist human resources in many areas, ranging from recruitment to employee coaching.
As HR professionals, you track all sorts of activities—such as onboarding and employee turnover. While these types of production metrics are important, HR needs to start measuring the effectiveness of its own programs and activities.
For example, you may know the number of employees who completed a supervisory training course, but that’s just a one-dimensional metric. You need to determine whether the participants became more skilled at managing others to gauge the course’s true impact in the workplace.
Integrated. Upgradeable. Simple. Affordable. That’s the message HR professionals at universities and colleges are sending to software developers.
“We don’t want to be locked in to what we’re doing today and not be able to adjust to the world tomorrow,” says David Jones, organizational effectiveness specialist, division of housing and food services at Purdue University. Jones says no one in HR has the time to enter the same information twice or perform the same data search in different programs.
How many members of your faculty would enjoy teaching the same courses, day in and day out, throughout a 30-, 40- or even 50-year career? Not many.
Staying motivated and intellectually challenged is not always possible at schools where promotions or lateral career moves are rare. Faculty may find themselves disengaged, even downright bored, teaching the same classes year after year.