Safety, security drive higher ed hiring

Campuses want to tighten security and turn information into action. This has caused an unprecedented surge in demand for safety and data personnel, according to CUPA-HR’s 2018 Professionals in Higher Education Survey.

Campuses making aggressive efforts to prevent sexual assault and hazing incidents have invested in their police force, with the police and public safety sector growing from 1,077 to 1,403 employees in the last year.

“Both data privacy and student safety have become dominant areas of focus for risk management in higher ed,” says Jacqueline Bichsel, director of research with CUPA-HR.

Institutions continue to hire more administrators involved in analytics for student success and strategic decision-making. From 2017 to 2018, the reported number of data analysis positions jumped from 282 to 545.

A larger pool of higher education professionals outside of academic roles requires administrators to pay close attention to exempt statuses in order to comply with the current version of Fair Labor Standards Act.

“As we saw with the last proposed change to this rule, institutions may be expected to respond quickly,” says Bichsel.

Keeping track of hourly and salaried employees encourages a quick turnaround on overtime payment changes. By charting salaries and employee demographics, higher ed HR departments can also see gaps in female and minority employment and can fix problematic hiring patterns.


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