Western named a ‘2014 Great College to Work for’

Western Washington University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The results, released in The Chronicle’s seventh annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 43,500 faculty and staff at 278 colleges and universities. Only 92 institutions achieved the recognition for specific best practices and policies.

“Western offers a campus culture of excellence for our students, a direct result of our exceptionally talented, caring faculty and staff. Our campus community values and emphasizes collaboration and respect among all employees,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

Western, which now has been recognized four years in a row, won honors in four categories:

  • Collaborative governance (Faculty members play significant roles in decisions related to academic programs. Employees agree with statements like: "Faculty, administration, and staff are meaningfully involved in institutional planning.")
  • Confidence in senior leadership (Leaders have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for the success of the college. Employees agree with statements like: "Senior leadership provides a clear direction for this institution's future.")
  • Supervisor or Department-Chair Relationship (Supervisors or chairs makes expectations clear and solicit ideas. Employees agree with statements like: "I believe what I am told by my supervisor/department chair.")
  • Tenure Clarity & Process (requirements for tenure are clear. Employees agree with statements like "Promotions in my department are based on a person's ability.")

Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Western Washington University included among the large universities with 10,000 or more students. 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.

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country.