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Articles: Human Resources

Janice Orlov, the previous managing director of finance and operations at UPenn’s Wharton School, has been named vice president for administration and finance at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Janice Orlov has been named vice president for administration and finance at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

With skilled workers in demand by industry and student enrollment declining, ignoring diversity initiatives is impractical, even unproductive.

While the gender-related pay gap in higher education has gotten only marginally smaller in the last few years, women’s salaries still lag behind those for men.

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

Campus discussions about spend analytics might sound like a late night infomercial: Implement the technology and save millions!

Plenty can go wrong during a presidential turnover—imagine the new leader earning a faculty vote of no confidence early on, or not recognizing a million-dollar donor at a reception. 

Russ McDonald, head of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota, is serving on a new federal commission to address the challenges facing Native American children.

Russ McDonald, head of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota, is serving on a new federal commission to address the challenges facing Native American children.

Transitions in senior academic and administrative staff can have nearly as much impact as a new president.

Recent lawsuits have alleged that certain colleges breached the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which states employers that sponsor retirement plans have a fiduciary responsibility to prudently manage those plans on the behalf of their employees.

Eight prominent universities—including University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and others—were hit with separate lawsuits in August 2016 alleging the institutions mishandled their employee retirement plans.

LAWMAKER PERSUASION— Tim Tai, a University of Missouri student photojournalist, testified in support of the New Voices press freedom bill in higher ed during an April 2016 Missouri House of Representatives committee meeting. (Beatriz Costa-Lima)

Campus newspapers face many of the same challenges confronting the professional media—inconsistent readership, dwindling financial resources, and competition with bloggers and social media.

A Texas judge’s eleventh-hour injunction against a controversial labor regulation change has left more than 4 million U.S. workers, including thousands in higher education, in limbo. Scheduled to go into effect December 1, the so-called Overtime Rule would have made full-time employees earning less than $47,476 eligible for a pay raise or overtime pay.

Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education, billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos, is more of a household name in K12 than higher ed circles. DeVos has worked to promote school choice and voucher programs, including creation of Detroit’s charter school system. 

She sits on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, whose mission is “to build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential.”

Carol Patton is a Las Vegas-based writer who specializes in human resources issues.

As the national movement for unionization continues to grow across college campuses, there’s an important lesson here. Unions typically spring up where inequities are either perceived or actually occur.

College and universities must face a harsh reality: employer expectations of their graduates are changing. As the world becomes more complex, so do employer demands. It’s not enough for candidates to have the professional or technical skills needed for a particular job. Hiring managers now want strong “right brain” attributes -- communication, collaboration and creativity – and the ability to apply both hard and soft skills to their role.

Colleges and universities are experimenting with strategies—from financial incentives to life coaching—aimed at coaxing veteran professors into starting the next chapter of their lives.

Faculty members are finding exciting new directions once they retire from their tenured professorships. But data suggests that faculty members are waiting longer to retire than they once did, with sometimes problematic implications for their institutions.

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