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Articles: Human Resources

Human resources specialist Carol Patton says colleges and universities aren't aware of the wide range of their employees' skills.

Consider the accounting clerk who coordinates community events; the help desk manager who moonlights as an exercise coach; or even the campus registrar who is also a freelance writer.

A sampling of sabbatical policies at colleges and universities. (Click to enlarge)

There’s a standard practice in academia that’s highly valued; yet, at many colleges and universities, the policies and procedures surrounding it haven’t changed in decades. Until now.

University of Texas graduate Admiral William H. McRaven is currently commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command

The governing board of The University of Texas System has selected Admiral William H. McRaven, currently commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, to take over as chancellor in January 2015.

HR expert Carol Patton says alumni have value to HR as recruiters and university advocates.

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.

Ball State University has selected Paul W. Ferguson as its 15th president. He comes to the Indiana school from The University of Maine.

Ball State University has selected Paul W. Ferguson as its 15th president. He comes to the Indiana school from The University of Maine, where he has been president since 2011.

Ferguson led a comprehensive strategic planning process there called “The Blue Sky Project,” which focused on transforming both the undergraduate and graduate student experience. He begins his new tenure on Aug. 1, replacing President Jo Ann Gora, who retired on June 30.

Other people news:

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted unanimously in March to implement GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.

This accounting standard modifies existing financial reporting requirments as well as establishes new ones for governmental entities—including public colleges and universities—that participate in defined benefit pension plans.

HR expert Carol Patton says data can help fix what no one may realize is broken.

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.

New Akron President Scott L. Scarborough will leave his post as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Toledo.

The University of Akron in Ohio has selected Scott L. Scarborough, now provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Toledo, as its next president.

At UT, he directed the development of a new strategic plan, “Imagine 2017,” and organized a system of “portal colleges” designed to meet the needs of meet the needs of a range of nontraditional students with a variety of academic backgrounds.

Scarborough will assume the presidency on July 1, replacing Luis Proenza, who is stepping down after 15 years.

Other people news:

In Project Bridge—what may be a first-of-its-kind program—student volunteers at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. are giving English lessons to catering and facilities staff.

The project was originally conceived by Patricia Tome, a modern languages professor who assigned her intermediate-level Spanish classes to tutor Rollins’ staff for a short time. In January 2012, the then-president of the Latin American Student Association, Tasha Bianchi-Macaraig, took over the program as student advisor.

Kirk Overstreet is assistant dean for adjunct faculty support at the College of DuPage.

College of DuPage, located just west of Chicago, is one of the largest community colleges in the United States, and it is the largest community college in the Midwest. The institution serves more than 30,000 students and offers a variety of courses, with more than 80 percent of its classes delivered face-to-face.

Marylou Yam was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Saint Peter’s University (N.J.).

Marylou Yam has been appointed as the 14th president of Notre Dame of Maryland University, effective July 1. Yam joins the school from Saint Peter’s University (N.J.), where she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

She worked to expand Saint Peter’s from a college to a university and helped established its first two doctoral programs and its schools of nursing and education. Yam will replace Interim President Joan Develin Coley.

Carol Patton says new HR software is more user-friendly and flexible.

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.

Is anybody listening? Apparently so.

Administrators at public colleges and universities received larger raises in 2013 than did their private-institution counterparts. That’s a key finding in the “2013-14 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey,” conducted by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

Eric J. Barron is leaving Florida State University to become The Pennsylvania State University's 18th president.

Eric J. Barron, president of Florida State University, has been named the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University.

According to the Penn State Board of Trustees, the selection committee was compelled by Barron’s role leading a doctoral research university that also has a law school and a college of medicine, as well as his strategic plan to take FSU into the top 25 ranking of national public universities.

Most of us would agree that Safe Hiring and Safe Contracting programs are an important part of college operations. These issues may become more difficult, though, when they are associated with employee hiring or contractor selection processes and the accompanying consideration of various risks, particularly those related to previous criminal behaviors. It can be further complicated by the fact that access to students, faculty and secure facilities must also be considered in the evaluation.

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