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Beyond the News

Where the Happy Staff Are

University Business, May 2013

Texas Tech University is the only school in Texas to have an undergraduate institution, law school, and medical school on the same campus. It is also the U.S. university with the happiest employees, according to a new top 10 list released by CareerBliss, an online community featuring company reviews, salaries, and job listings.

To come up with the rankings, the company compiled thousands of employee-submitted reviews and calculated a “Bliss Score” based on factors such as coworkers, growth opportunities, and compensation.

What’s the key to employee satisfaction at Texas Tech? “We consider our people to be our most important asset,” shares Jodie Billingsley, director of human resources.

She says the HR department helps employees feel supported by partnering with various departments around campus to ensure an understanding that everyone is working toward the same goal of educating students. Her department also stresses open communication and professional development, has employees fill out annual engagement surveys, and recognizes employee achievements.

Another key is accessible leaders. Interim President Lawrence Shovanec can be found mingling on campus and at sporting events, which Billingsley says plays a major role in employee happiness.

“Leadership at Tech really starts with the top down,” says Billingsley. “We have very visible and approachable administrators, which I think is very helpful.”

Other universities in the top five are: Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.), University of Wisconsin, University of Houston, and Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.).