Georgia Tech Among ‘Great Colleges to Work For’

For the second year in a row, Georgia Tech has been named to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges To Work For” Honor Roll. Tech is the only Georgia school on this year's list.

Great Colleges “badge” 2010
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Great Colleges to Work For graphic

“We’re passionately committed to providing a work environment that supports the best possible talent in this competitive market,” said Marita Sullivan, interim vice president of human resources. Besides supporting current employees, “data shows that winning a workplace award such as this helps you to recruit top talent.”

The results, released today in The Chronicle’s third annual report on the academic workplace, are based on a survey of more than 42,000 employees at 277 colleges and universities, including 223 four-year institutions and 54 two-year institutions. In all, only 97 of the 277 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies.

“Given how competitive the Great Colleges program was this year, this accolade is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Jeffrey Selingo, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Georgia Tech received honors in seven out of twelve categories: collaborative governance; teaching environment; facilities, workspaces, and security; job satisfaction and support; work/life balance; confidence in senior leadership; and supervisor or department-chair relationship.

“Job satisfaction and work/life balance are so closely linked,” said Sullivan. “On that front, we have an initiative to raise the funds to open a second child care center.”

Relating to job support, Sullivan noted, “Georgia Tech is, and has been, committed to providing quality training programs to staff. Our program has been recognized by the University System, which is establishing training hubs across the state and has selected Tech as one of six regional training centers.”

Sullivan also noted that the Institute hosted its first Diversity Roundtable, focused on mentoring and support of early-career individuals, in April.

Anderson Smith, senior vice provost for academic affairs, commented on the recognition of Tech’s teaching environment. “The recognition of Georgia Tech as one of the best places to work is obviously an asset in attracting top academic talent,” he said. “We have always followed the rule that if you could not give a new faculty member what he or she needs to be successful, then you should not make the offer. “

As to the collaborative environment, Smith said, “the faculty understands the importance of teamwork as an important characteristic of our educational mission.”

“We also have been able to build and renovate many campus buildings in the last 15 years,” Smith noted. “Improving the research and teaching infrastructure with new buildings and new equipment makes Georgia Tech a place faculty want to work.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

The Chronicle ranking comes on the heels of Tech being named by The Scientist as among the top 15 places for life scientists to work in the nation.

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard Boyer, principal and managing partner of ModernThink LLC. “Those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions with whom they compete for talent.”

For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s website at http://chronicle.com/academicworkplace.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.