Human Resources

What’s new in HR systems and software

Developers focus on products that deliver adaptability and user-friendliness

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.

Engaging faculty throughout their careers

Universities use flexible career programs to attract and retain faculty

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. 

What keeps HR administrators up at night

HR administrators discuss their most vexing problems

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.

Checklist of negotiating do’s and dont’s for human resources

Tips for maintaining management rights, reappointment criteria, and employee evaluations

Strong management rights

  • Do insist upon a management clause that grants your school operational flexibility, ranging from the ability to assign jobs to enforcing reasonable work rules.

Tug of war: How HR can prepare to negotiate with unions

Best practices include exercising creativity to analyzing productive and nonproductive time

Think outside the box. The phrase is overused, but the actual practice is definitely underutilized. Yet, it still ranks among the most important tips for higher ed HR professionals who are involved in union negotiations.

Creativity is what moved negotiations forward nearly three years ago at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., recalls Art Doherty, now HR director at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

Connecting old and new: How to capture institutional knowledge

Preserving institutional knowledge and making it accessible to faculty, staff, and students is critical

HR professionals at colleges or universities readily admit that institutional history is important. But not every school is taking steps to capture it.

This is especially important now as more baby boomers retire, walking out the front door with 30 or more years of institutional knowledge and experience. Preserving that knowledge and making it accessible to faculty, staff, and students is critical. After all, how can officials know where the institution is headed if they don’t know where it’s been?

How Human Resources Can Ease Leadership Changes

Smooth onboarding by Human Resources gets incoming campus leadership off to good start

Chances are, your institution is or may soon be recruiting for leadership positions, such as president, chancellor, or vice president. At Alfred University (N.Y.), for example, the search is underway for a new provost, and within the next five years, the institution plans to recruit two vice presidents and a president, says Mark Guinan, HR director at the private university, which supports approximately 1,000 employees and 2,300 students.

No Smoking, Please

HR considerations for implementing a smoke-free campus

More than 1,130 U.S. higher ed institutions have implemented smoke-free campus policies, and the number is expected to climb, according to the organization Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. The University of California can soon be added to the list.  Starting in 2014, each of its 10 campuses will be tobacco-free, says UC, Riverside spokesperson Kris Lovekin. To promote a campus event relating to the annual Great American Smokeout this past November, student affairs staff distributed zombie-themed cards modeling an app developed by the American Cancer Society.

Nursing Schools Reinventing Recruitment

Attracting faculty amidst the nation’s nursing shortage

Perhaps nothing causes more administrative anxiety for deans at nursing schools than the nation’s nursing shortage. It not only poses a real threat to the country’s health care delivery system, but also to higher ed institutions that need nursing faculty.

Many are feeling the pinch. Positions remain unfilled, some for years. So nursing schools are rethinking and redesigning their traditional recruiting and retention strategies. Their solutions are quite varied, ranging from creating e-jobs and dual appointments to sharing existing faculty.

Dual Roles

Cross-training to enhance customer service, employee engagement, and career advancement

With budgets still tight and a workforce still lean, some higher ed institutions are applying an old approach that allows them to do more with less.

Cross-training employees, or training them to perform key tasks of a coworker’s job, is nothing new. Perhaps it’s never more appreciated than when employees take vacations, become ill, work on special projects, or quit their job.

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