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Articles: Human Resources

Carol Patton says flexible career policies motivate faculty to develop fresh skills and broaden career paths.

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. 

Gwendolyn Boyd is Alabama State University’s first female president.

Gwendolyn Boyd has begun her tenure as Alabama State University’s 14th (and first female) president, succeeding William H. Harris, interim president and president emeritus. Boyd was previously an engineer and executive assistant to the Applied Physics Laboratory chief of staff at Johns Hopkins University, where she had worked for the past 33 years.

The tenure process remains instrumental to universities in maintaining academic freedom and in soliciting the country’s top minds to forgo employment in industry and seek employment in higher education. However, the system has evolved overtime, and so have the requirements for making and holding onto tenure. At the same time, the economic crisis of the last few years has opened a flood gate of highly qualified applicants seeking employment as faculty.

As a frontline supervisor in Facilities Management, I often think about succession planning in our various organizations across the globe. I ask myself a lot of questions like; what would happen if our director won a million dollars or was offered that ultimate dream job? What would happen if our management team decided to relocate to other institutions? What is going to happen when the management decides to retire?

Jim Clements will become president of Clemson on Jan. 1, after five years leading West Virginia.

Jim Clements will begin his tenure as the 15th president of Clemson University (S.C.) on Jan. 1. He announced his departure back in November as president of West Virginia University after five years in office. Under his leadership, WVU set records in private fundraising, enrollment and research funding. He helped raise nearly $1 billion for capital improvements. Clements is replacing James Barker, who announced in April that he was stepping down after 14 years.

Kathleen McCartney was inaugurated as the 11th president of Smith College (Mass.) on Oct. 19. She follows President Carol Christ, who resigned in June. McCartney had previously served as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She created a strategic plan there that led to the creation of two new degree programs—a doctorate in education leadership and a faculty Ph.D. in education.

What tops the list of HR challenges at your college or university? Managing soaring health care costs? Maybe it’s faculty recruitment, succession planning, or shrinking budgets.

Below, HR professionals from four different schools share their chief concerns, revealing why it’s getting more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Challenged by high expectations and a sense of urgency to hit the ground running, newly appointed leaders are prime candidates for performance derailment even on day one. Compounded by insufficient or less structured on-boarding, leaders with the potential to succeed simply don’t. Worse yet, they don’t know what hit them.

Any institution building a new compensation system must have adequate resources—including staff— to complete the project within a reasonable time frame, says Lynne Hammond, assistant vice president, human resources at Auburn University in Alabama.

A new system that doesn’t position employees within the salary structure appropriately can lead to unmet expectations that translate into disgruntled employees.

As colleges come out of the recession, many are now expected to make up for years of stagnant salaries

When the topic of higher ed salaries draws public attention, more often than not the focus is on presidents or football coaches. But behind the scenes, the real challenge for college and university leaders lies in crafting compensation practices to recruit and reward the talented faculty and staff who make up the heart of every institution.

As colleges come out of the recession, many are now expected to make up for years of stagnant salaries. Administrators also face the competition for top faculty talent, the push for greater salary equity, and other pressures.

Higher ed leaders are enhancing orientations to bring adjuncts to campus who are more likely to improve student outcomes.

An email from the department chair with a building and classroom number, a schedule, a syllabus, and instructions for getting a parking permit is about all the orientation many adjuncts receive before arriving on campus to teach their first class. It’s no wonder many of them don’t assimilate into campus.

  1. Pay adjuncts for attending the orientation session
  2. Invite adjuncts on staff to participate
  3. Allow a range of campus departments to make presentations
  4. Give campus tours
  5. Host a getting-acquainted meal
  6. Provide online sessions for convenience and review

As leaders at some institutions have realized, it’s not enough to offer just an orientation for adjuncts. Additional training and support after the initial orientation has ended is good practice. For example, at National Louis University in Illinois, Linda Kryzak launched the Post-Training Café in March 2013 as an online forum for faculty members to support one another and share ideas.

Sidney A. Ribeauis leaving Howard University after five years in office.

On Oct. 1, Howard University (D.C.) President Sidney A. Ribeau announced his retirement from the historically black college after five years in office. He will leave the presidency at the end of December.

Ribeau signed a contract extension just this summer to serve until June 2015. Speculation is that debate over the health of the university and Ribeau’s management of it may be why he has stepped down suddenly. Alumnus Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard’s former provost and chief academic officer, has been named interim president.

Katherine Bergeron, currently the dean of Brown University, moves to Connecticut College on Jan. 1.

The Connecticut College Board of Trustees has selected Katherine Bergeron, currently the dean of Brown University, as the 11th president of the college. She will take office Jan. 1, succeeding Leo I. Higdon Jr., who will retire in December after seven years there.

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