Think outside the box. The phrase is overused, but the actual practice is definitely underutilized. Yet, it still ranks among the most important tips for higher ed HR professionals who are involved in union negotiations.
Creativity is what moved negotiations forward nearly three years ago at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., recalls Art Doherty, now HR director at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.
HR professionals at colleges or universities readily admit that institutional history is important. But not every school is taking steps to capture it.
This is especially important now as more baby boomers retire, walking out the front door with 30 or more years of institutional knowledge and experience. Preserving that knowledge and making it accessible to faculty, staff, and students is critical. After all, how can officials know where the institution is headed if they don’t know where it’s been?
Chances are, your institution is or may soon be recruiting for leadership positions, such as president, chancellor, or vice president. At Alfred University (N.Y.), for example, the search is underway for a new provost, and within the next five years, the institution plans to recruit two vice presidents and a president, says Mark Guinan, HR director at the private university, which supports approximately 1,000 employees and 2,300 students.
More than 1,130 U.S. higher ed institutions have implemented smoke-free campus policies, and the number is expected to climb, according to the organization Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. The University of California can soon be added to the list. Starting in 2014, each of its 10 campuses will be tobacco-free, says UC, Riverside spokesperson Kris Lovekin. To promote a campus event relating to the annual Great American Smokeout this past November, student affairs staff distributed zombie-themed cards modeling an app developed by the American Cancer Society.
Perhaps nothing causes more administrative anxiety for deans at nursing schools than the nation’s nursing shortage. It not only poses a real threat to the country’s health care delivery system, but also to higher ed institutions that need nursing faculty.
Many are feeling the pinch. Positions remain unfilled, some for years. So nursing schools are rethinking and redesigning their traditional recruiting and retention strategies. Their solutions are quite varied, ranging from creating e-jobs and dual appointments to sharing existing faculty.
With budgets still tight and a workforce still lean, some higher ed institutions are applying an old approach that allows them to do more with less.
Cross-training employees, or training them to perform key tasks of a coworker’s job, is nothing new. Perhaps it’s never more appreciated than when employees take vacations, become ill, work on special projects, or quit their job.
In 2008, Sunil Khambaswadkar came on board as the assistant vice chancellor of HR at the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University, which now supports 450 students and is growing strong. “It was a great opportunity for HR and me, personally, to be part of the campus right from the beginning, participating in the planning process, being able to determine what would be required from an HR perspective,” he says.
Are the processes of recruiting, employee performance appraisals, recognition, and succession planning at your institution in separate pieces like a jigsaw puzzle? Or are they linked, forming one clear picture about your campus’s talent resources and needs?
Talent management software is helping campus HR professionals connect the pieces to develop a more accurate picture of employees’ abilities and skill gaps—and in some cases even changing the way HR operates.
How much are your employees worth? The struggling economy has prompted many institutions to make serious changes in how staff and faculty are evaluated. While politicians claim education is the key to attracting quality jobs, millions of dollars have been slashed from higher education appropriations. Every budget dollar spent must be justified more than ever. Campus leaders have begun scrutinizing employee performance, and at some institutions uniform salary increases have been replaced with thorough evaluations that link pay to job performance.