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WMU named one of 'Best Colleges to Work For'

July 8, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Relying on feedback collected from faculty and staff and an institutional audit of practices and policies, the Chronicle of Higher Education has named Western Michigan University one of America's Great Colleges to Work For.

WMU among top 10

The University was named one of the top-10 large colleges in the nation in five separate categories of the Chronicle's second annual survey of American colleges and universities, the results of which were announced in the July 6 edition of the publication. Some 122 four-year institutions earned a ranking in at least one of the 26 areas measured in three broad categories: work environment, pay and benefits, and institutional policies.

WMU's top-10 placements came in recognition of its offerings and best practices in providing health care benefits, tuition remission, life insurance, disability insurance, and post-retirement benefits.

Great Colleges to Work For

The Chronicle's Great Colleges to Work For program recognizes small groups of colleges (based on enrollment size) for specific best practices and policies, such as compensation and benefits, faculty-administration relations, and confidence in senior leadership. Only two other Michigan schools made the 2009 list. They are the University of Michigan, which was recognized in nine categories, and Wayne State University, which won praise in four areas.

The Chronicle based its assessments on a random survey of the University's full-time faculty, administrators and professional staff conducted in April as well as an institutional audit that captured demographics, and workplace policies and practices. According to Chronicle editor Jeffrey J. Selingo, the primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback collected through the random anonymous survey.

"Our campus community knows that Western Michigan University offers a great academic work environment," said WMU President John M. Dunn of the Chronicle recognition. "This is an important acknowledgement of what we do well as a University, and it's all the more important because it was the affirmation of our faculty and staff--the people at the heart of our University--that led to this recognition."

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle of Higher Education turned to ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous "Best Places to Work" programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide. Recognition in one or more areas is seen as a positive recruiting tool for faculty and staff.

"Through this program, The Chronicle is able to provide more information to job seekers about the colleges that are the leading innovators when it comes to providing a rewarding work environment," said Chronicle Editor Selingo.

Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education is a leading source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Based in Washington, D.C., the newspaper has a weekly print readership of 350,000 and Web traffic of more than 14 million pages a month.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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