30+ Promising Places to Work

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In honor of its year-long 30th anniversary celebration, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education has teamed up with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) to present a new national study: “30+ Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.” The Center for Inclusion, Diversity & Academic Success (IDEAS) at The Ohio State University was selected to conduct this study, under the leadership of Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, associate professor and director, who also served as ACPA director of research and scholarship from 2009 to 2012.
The purpose of this commissioned study was to examine the administrative structures, commitment to diversity and workplace or staffing practices of various divisions/departments of student affairs (or equivalent) at participating ACPA member institutions. On the following pages, you will see institutional profiles of 10 of the 30+ Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.

 

The full list (in alphabetical order) is:

1. Arkansas State University
2. Arkansas State University Beebe
3. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
4. Centre College
5. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
6. The College of William and Mary
7. Hamline University
8. Hampshire College
9. Holy Names University
10. Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
11. Lehigh University
12. Loyola University Chicago
13. McGill University
14. McKendree University
15. Monmouth University
16. North Dakota State College of Science
17. Ohio Wesleyan University
18. Pace University Westchester
19. Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey
20. Shepherd University
21. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
22. The State University of New York at Stony Brook
23. The State University of New York College at Cortland
24. Sweet Briar College
25. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
26. University of Baltimore
27. University of Vermont
28. University of West Georgia
29. Washburn University
30. Winthrop University
31. Youngstown State University

MISSION OF THE CENTER FOR IDEAS

The mission of the Center for IDEAS is to foster inclusion, promote diversity and ensure academic success of all individuals served by education.
Our primary activities include research, outreach and advocacy. The Center’s research agenda focuses on diverse, historically under served and vulnerable populations across the lifespan generally and within education specifically, including students, faculty, staff and families. IDEAS engages in meaningful partnerships with campus units, local agencies and national organizations to establish college outreach efforts, increase access for groups, inform educational policy and maximize human potential by improving education. Housed within the College of Education and Human Ecology, the Center for IDEAS also offers high-quality programming and professional development to the College’s units, the broader university and constituents across the country.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CENTER FOR IDEAS

We accomplish our mission through the following objectives:

    1. To conduct high-quality research studies and disseminate findings to various audiences in multiple forms;
    2. To off er professional development for faculty, staff and students linking inclusion and diversity to excellence;
    3. To support the College’s recruitment and retention efforts for historically underserved populations;
    4. To provide a collegial and high-energy research lab for training diverse individuals in areas central to the Center’s mission.

STAFF BIOGRAPHIES

Dr. Terrell Lamont Strayhorn (principal investigator) is associate professor and chief diversity officer in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, where he also serves as director of the Center for IDEAS. Author of seven books, over 40 chapters and more than 100 journal articles and scientific reports, Strayhorn is a prolific scholar, highly sought-after public speaker and was named one of the top scholars in his field by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2011.

Derrick L. Tillman-Kelly (lead research associate/project coordinator) is a doctoral student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) graduate program at The Ohio State University, where he also serves as graduate research associate in the Center for IDEAS.

This project was conducted by staff in the Center for Inclusion, Diversity & Academic Success (IDEAS) within the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. In addition to the principal investigator and lead research associate, the project benefited from the following IDEAS staff members who helped contact administrators, craft institutional profiles and elicit quotations: Blossom Barrett, Zak Foste, Royel Johnson, Ryann Randall, Josh Stephens and Todd Suddeth. Other IDEAS staff members who made contributions to the project in its earlier stages include Sarah Graf and Weihua “Vera” Fu.

METHODOLOGY

Initial planning and development of this national study of student affairs divisions began in the fall of 2011, with advice and meaningful input
from a national advisory board comprised of researchers, practitioners, and experts on student affairs work life. Given the project’s focus on
workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment, the advisory board and project team agreed to six initial categories, including
family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities, to name a few. Initial categories, response options and data types were piloted during a concurrent session at the 2013 ACPA Convention in Las Vegas. Feedback from that session and additional input from experts led to revision of web survey, renaming of categories, or clarifying response options to satisfy the diversity of institutional types and division organization. The final web survey was mounted to a secure server at the Center’s institutional site using Qualtrics, an online survey software. Using a list provided by ACPA, the Center for IDEAS sent electronic invitations to institutional representatives at hundreds of campuses; electronic invitations included a hyperlink to the website on which the survey was placed. Participants responded to the survey online, typically requiring 10 minutes to complete. No incentives were offered to encourage participation and respondents understood that their institutional identity might be released in a special edition of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education.

PROMISING PLACES TO WORK IN STUDENT AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD

Tracey Cameron, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Intercultural Education
Director of Harambee House
Advisor to Students of African Descent
Wellesley College

Stan Carpenter, Ph.D.
Dean
College of Education
Texas State University

Kristen A. Renn, Ph.D.
Professor of Higher, Adult, & Lifelong Education
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies/Director
for Student Success Initiatives
Michigan State University

Joan B. Hirt, Ph.D.
Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School of Education
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Sue Saunders, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator, Higher Education and Student Affairs
Administration
Extension Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Neag School of Education
University of Connecticut

ANALYSIS

Data from the online, web-based survey were analyzed in several stages. First, descriptive data were recorded and reported as is. For instance, institution names, locations, and characteristics (e.g., two- vs. four-year, control, enrollment) were transferred from the survey to various places in the report. Second, quantitative data were reported as is or averaged across participating institutions for inclusion in the report.
For instance, average salaries (by rank) and percent diverse representation (% female) were computed and reported in the matrix. Third, “ratings” were computed using a three-point scale ranging from “A” to “B” and “C.” For each rating item, we first computed the sample mean (removing any zero “0” scores, which indicate absence of practice/policy) for all participating institutions. Then, we evaluated item scores for the highest overall scoring institutions using the following: A = above average, B = at average, C = below average.

Description of variables

Institution Name. Information was provided by respondents via online survey and distinguishes individual campuses from larger statewide or multicampus systems.
Location. Information was provided by respondent via online survey and subsequently verified using data from the Carnegie website. For more information, go to: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org
Control. Information was provided using data from the Carnegie website. Publicly controlled institutions
include state and tribally-controlled institutions. Private universities are universities not operated by state or
tribal governments. For more information, go to:http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org
Level. Information was provided using data from the Carnegie website. Indicates whether institution is classified as two-year versus four-year institution, which generally refers to the average time required to complete basic degree option.
Carnegie Classification. Information was drawn from the Carnegie website based on the ‘institution name’ provided by respondents; “Associates” includes institutions where all degrees are at the associate’s level or where bachelor’s degrees account for less than 10 percent of all undergraduate degrees; “Bachelors” includes institutions where bachelor’s degrees represent at least 10 percent of all undergraduate degrees and that award(ed) fewer than 50 master’s or 20 doctoral degrees; “Masters” includes institutions that award(ed) at least 50 master’s degrees and fewer than 20 doctoral degrees; “Research” includes institutions that award(ed) at least 20 doctoral degrees; and “Special Focus” includes institutions that offer bachelors degree (or higher) where over 75 percent are in a single field or related field (excludes tribal colleges). For
more information, go to: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/descriptions/

Student Enrollment. Information was provided by respondent via online survey and subsequently verified using data from the Carnegie website. For more information, go to: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation

Number of full-time student affairs staff. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.

Average salary(-ies).Information was provided by respondents via online survey, based on rank of
professional positions. For comparative data, visit College and University Professional Association for Human
Resources (CUPA-HR) at http://www.cupahr.org

50% female student affairs staff.Information was provided by respondents via online survey.

30% ethnic minority student affairs staff. Information was provided by respondents via online survey and
compiled to include Black, Latina/o, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American and multiracial.

5% LGBT student affairs staff. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.

5% student affairs staff with disability. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.

Caregiving leave for all. Indicates whether the division/department or institution allows all staff to request
leave for caregiving reasons.

Child care services. Indicates whether the division/department or institution provides child care services or
referrals.

Continuing education. Indicates whether the institution or department offers continuing education to
student affairs staff; includes for-credit and non-credit options.

Education leave. Indicates whether the division/department or institution allows all staff to request leave for
educational reasons.
Elder care services. Indicates whether the division/department or institution provides elder care services
or referrals.
Flexible work schedules. Indicates whether the division/department or institution allows flexible work
schedules
Mentoring. Indicates whether staff in the division/department of student affairs at the institution receive
formal mentoring support.
Stress reduction programs. Indicates whether the division/department or institution provides stress
reduction programs.

Bias monitoring. Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs has a formal reporting
system for instances of discrimination or harassment and responds appropriately to reported incidents.
Climate toward diversity. Rates the extent to which staff in the division/department of student affairs
perceive the unit’s climate toward diversity as friendly versus hostile.
Overall commitment to diversity. Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs’
commitment to diversity has increased over the last five years.
Comprehensive new staff orientation. Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs new staff orientation includes the following: educational and operational philosophies and procedures, history and culture, and importance of diversity of the division and campus, to name a few.
Hiring process strategy.Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs has a strategy to guide the hiring process including assessment of need for position to decision to hire.
Long-term planning participation.Rates the extent to which staff in the division/department of student affairs at the institution participate in long-term planning.
Perceptions of leadership towards diversity. Rates the extent to which the administrative leadership of the division/department of student affairs embraces, celebrates and stresses the importance of diversity to the division/department’s work.
Performance evaluation process. Indicates whether the division or institution has a systematic process for evaluating employee performance.
Professional development. Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs at the institution provides professional development opportunities for staff members, including conferences, workshops and reading groups.
Staff autonomy. Rates the extent to which staff in the division/department of student affairs at the institution exercise autonomy in decision making.
Support for departure. Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs is supportive of staff as they leave position or institution.
Support for professional development.Rates the extent to which the division/department of student affairs at the institution supports professional development of staff, including financial support for conference travel, lodging, registration, research or technical assistance and sponsored receptions at meetings.

INTERPRETATION OF SCORES

A = Institution scored “above average” when compared to the average for all survey respondents on corresponding items or subscales (i.e., set of items); for “overall commitment to diversity,” score reflects increase in division/departments commitment in the last five years.
B = Institution scored at “average” when compared to the average for all survey respondents on corresponding items or subscales (i.e., set of items); for “overall commitment to diversity,” score reflects division/departments commitment has remained the same in the last five years.
C = Institution scored “below average” when compared to the average for all survey respondents on corresponding items or subscales (i.e., set of items); for “overall commitment to diversity,” score reflects decrease in division/departments commitment in the last five years.

TABLE 1.4

TABLE 2.4

TABLE 3.4

TABLE 4.4



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