Saturday July 7, 2007

Exceptional Campus

The University of Dayton ranks as one of the best places to work in the country, according to a new national survey.

Faculty and staff at the University of Dayton are proud of the University and feel a strong connection to it.  According to a new national survey, the University can boast of having one of the 10 most loyal workforces in the country among universities of its size.

The University of Dayton is among 150 colleges recognized this week in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "2009 Great Colleges to Work For" national survey.  The program showcases institutions that have created exceptional work environments. It's the second year running that the University of Dayton has been honored.

The University of Dayton ranks in the top 10 among large universities (10,000 or more students) in three categories: campus culture and two benefits programs — tuition reimbursement and housing assistance.

"The vast majority of faculty and staff at the University of Dayton believe it to be a strong workplace and share pride in our Catholic, Marianist heritage and the way we educate students to make a difference in the world," said Daniel J. Curran, president.  "There's a strong sense of momentum, positive energy and optimism on this campus.  We're honored to be recognized nationally for our campus culture and benefits programs that have helped us recruit outstanding faculty and staff."

The University offers free undergraduate tuition to employees, spouses and children.  At the graduate level, employees can take classes for free. More than 300 children of faculty and staff are enrolled for the fall.  Over last year, nearly 300 faculty and staff enrolled in classes.  While the University does not have a formal housing-assistance program, it does offer a new employee relocation allowance that covers a house-hunting trip and moving expenses.

The second annual survey, conducted by ModernThink LLC, attracted nearly triple the number of participating campuses. The results are based on responses from nearly 41,000 administrators, faculty and staff at 247 four- and two-year colleges.  Approximately 60 percent of the University of Dayton's faculty and staff responded to the survey.

"We competed against some very strong schools, but we knew from our own campus culture survey results that we would fare well nationally," said Joyce Carter, vice president for human resources. "It's a tremendous honor."

Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner of ModernThink, said he wasn't surprised to see a substantial jump in participating universities and colleges.

"Leaders within higher education are facing tough challenges on many fronts," he said. "The opportunity for national recognition draws institutions that are looking for a competitive edge in recruiting, retention and even research dollars. …As expected with a more established recognition program, the number of participants wasn't the only thing that went up. We also saw a commensurate jump in the caliber of the field."

To learn more about the 2009 Great Colleges Program, go to http://chronicle.com/indepth/academicworkplace.