CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Names UNA One of America's 'Great Colleges to Work For in 2013'
Jul. 29, 2013
By Terry Pace, Communications and Marketing
FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama has been named one of America’s “Great Colleges to Work For in 2013” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the nation’s premier publication for professionals in the academic world.
In its sixth annual survey of faculty and staff, the Washington, D.C.-based journal recognized UNA and 96 other colleges based on employee responses in 12 categories of evaluation.
“Taking pride in one’s university is reflected in the quality of everyone’s work,” UNA President William G. Cale remarked. “Students are the great beneficiaries of attending a school such as UNA because when we all care about what we do, the learning environment, the service environment and the extracurricular environment are the best they can be. I am the greatest champion of this university because I so deeply believe in the talented people who excel every day in what they do.”
UNA earned high marks in five categories: Collaborative Governance, Confidence in Senior Leadership, Job Satisfaction, Professional/Career Development Programs and Work/Life Balance. Through The Chronicle’s volunteer survey, faculty and staff at each participating college agree or disagree with survey statements related to each specific category.
“Our faculty and staff enjoy their work at the university largely due to the freedom they feel to pursue their professional and career goals,” noted Catherine White, UNA’s director of human resources. “Our university has over 180 years of history, and our setting in northwest Alabama offers an unsurpassed quality of life. Our faculty and staff recognize the wonderful opportunity that is employment at UNA. Our employees love the university, so there is a shared sense of commitment to it which makes for a great working environment.”
Colleges are grouped in the survey as either four-year or two-year institutions, and by enrollment size. (UNA is included in the category of medium-sized colleges with an enrollment of 7,128 students.) Other colleges recognized this year include the University of Southern California, Baylor University, Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, Duke University, Gettysburg College, Washington and Lee University, Austin Peay State University, Mississippi State University and two other Alabama colleges, Troy University (which received recognition in one category) and the University of Montevallo (which earned honors in two categories).
“Both our faculty and staff are supported in their professional and career endeavors through encouraged participation in professional conferences, research opportunities, and through our generous Tuition Remission program, which includes traditional and distance-learning formats as well as continuing-studies programs,” added Kari-Kay Cassady, human-resources coordinator for UNA. “Our faculty and staff are also provided with expert assistance in applying for and receiving grants for various professional research and activities.”
In its summary of “Outstanding Features” of UNA, The Chronicle emphasized the university’s broad-based commitment to the development of writing skills among students as well as faculty: “The campus Center for Writing Excellence offers workshops on issues related to writing across the curriculum and in scholarly disciplines. North Alabama also sponsors a weeklong writing-and-research retreat for faculty to work on publications and presentations.”
UNA previously participated in The Chronicle survey in 2010, when the school also ranked high in Shared Governance, Job Satisfaction, and other key areas of workplace excellence.
“UNA has an extremely effective governance structure that fosters open communication and gives all employees the opportunity to be fully informed, to voice concerns and to seek change,” Cale believes. “When individuals know that their voice is heard and respected, a university is on its way to being a great place to work.”
Results of the survey were published in a special “Academic Workplace” edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education released on Friday, July 26. Results of the survey and rankings for each college are available online at http://chronicle.com/article/Great-Colleges-To-Work-For/140369/#id=big-table.
A high-resolution image of the cover of the "Academic Workplace" issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education is available in the UNA Gallery at: http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=7577
A high-resolution image of the "Great Colleges to Work For in 2013" logo is available in the UNA Gallery at: http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=7578
General photos from today's UNA news conference are available under News Releases in the UNA Gallery at: http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/album.php?album=News%20Releases&year=2013