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Union named to prestigious ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ honor roll

Union was named to the honor roll of the
Union was named to the honor roll of the "Great Colleges to Work For" report from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

JACKSON, Tenn.July 24, 2011 – Union University is one of the top 42 colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The results, released today in The Chronicle’s fourth annual report on “The Academic Workplace,” are based on a survey of nearly 44,000 employees at 310 colleges and universities.

In all, only 111 of the 310 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Union University included among the medium-sized universities. Of the 111 institutions named to the list, only 42 achieved “Honor Roll” status.

Union is the only college in Tennessee named to the list.

“We are deeply grateful for this high honor, this lofty recognition from The Chronicle of Higher Education,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “I want to congratulate our marvelous faculty and staff, as well as the high quality students, who contribute each and every day to this special academic community. We are certainly thankful for the dedicated members of the Board of Trustees who offer the guidance and establish the high expectations for this university.”

Union was one of only three schools nationally to win honors in 11 categories: Collaborative Governance; Professional/Career Development Programs; Teaching Environment; Compensation and Benefits; Facilities, Workspaces and Security; Job Satisfaction; Work/Life Balance; Confidence in Senior Leadership; Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship; Respect and Appreciation; Tenure Clarity and Process.

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.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“I have had a number of opportunities through the years to teach elsewhere, but I can’t imagine a better place to be a professor,” said George Guthrie, the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union. “The clear, Christ-centered, community-oriented vision of the administration is carried out with integrity, and that makes a very special context for learning possible.”

Kimberly Thornbury, Union’s vice president for student services and dean of students, said the university’s strong sense of community is one of the benefits of working for the institution.

“We have been blessed with a president who is a tremendous leader in higher education,” Thornbury said. “He sets the tone for a campus that is innovative, encouraging and positive. People who come to work for Union seem wonderfully ‘shocked’ at the true level of community in this place.”

For Josh Clarke, Union’s director of alumni relations, an attitude of service that begins with the university’s leadership is what makes Union a rewarding place to work.

“It is this attitude that brings about the satisfaction that at the end of the day, no matter what department you might serve in, you know that you have invested in something that is bigger than you,” Clarke said. “You have made an impact on the world around you because of the job that you have done.”

More information about “Great Colleges to Work For,” including a listing of all institutions on the list, is available at chronicle.com/academicworkplace.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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