HCTC was named one of the best places to work in a national survey after being presented a similar honor during the spring in a state recognition. The national Chronicle of Higher Education survey names HCTC for this prestigious award as one of 97 Great Colleges to Work For.
HCTC Interim President Dr. Kris Williams said she isn t surprised a bit. HCTC has a reputation for being a can do institution, which is evidenced by the large number of initiatives tackled at the college. I ve seen these initiatives flourish and that s because of the exceptional employees here. I believe that one reason faculty and staff rated HCTC so highly is because of the sense of pride of all that Hazard Community and Technical College accomplishes.
Dr. Williams praised HCTC Senior Director of Human Resources Vickie Combs for her leadership in bringing this honor to the college and for the accomplishments of the Human Resources office in working with the needs of the college s 270 employees.
The Chronicle of Higher Education's third annual Great Colleges to Work For survey, published July 26, captures some of America's most valued institutions at some of their most challenging moments. About 43,000 people at 275 campuses responded to the survey. It found that colleges continue to do well at creating work that makes a difference, providing jobs that fit the individual, and fostering a high degree of institutional pride. But now colleges are accomplishing those things in an economy that has been in a long slump, and tight budgets seem to be eroding confidence in college leadership, the survey found.
This year's survey is The Chronicle's biggest yet. The 275 colleges that participated reflect an increase from the 89 that did in the first survey, in 2008. Four-year colleges and universities accounted for 221 of the institutions, and two-year colleges for 54. For the survey, faculty and staff members, and administrators were given 60 statements and asked to respond to them using a five-point scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with 18 workplace benefits.
Their answers help form 12 Great College recognition categories, such as collaborative governance, and compensation and benefits. High ratings in those categories are regarded as the core attributes of a great academic workplace.
Colleges were placed in one of three size groups small, medium, or large based on overall student enrollment. Recognition in each Great College category was given to the 10 highest-scoring institutions in each size group for four-year colleges, and to the three highest-scoring institutions in each of those size groups for two-year colleges. The survey does not rank the institutions but list them alphabetically. Campuses as diverse as Duke University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Valley Forge Christian College were recognized in at least one category.
The 30 four-year and nine two-year colleges on the Honor Roll were cited in the most categories in their size divisions.
Approximately 20,000 of the college employees who responded to the survey were faculty members, more than 14,800 were professional staff members, and 8,100 were administrators. The survey was sent to more than 100,000 people. It was administered by ModernThink LLC, a human-resources-consulting firm in Wilmington, Del. The survey instrument is based on an assessment that has been used in 55 Best Places to Work programs involving more than 4,000 organizations. A panel of higher-education experts helped customize the survey to reflect issues unique to colleges.
Overall, the survey results indicate that people like very much to work in higher education. Some of the highest-scoring statements in the entire survey were items such as I have a good relationship with my supervisor/department chair, I am given the responsibility and freedom to do my job, and I am proud to be part of this institution.
The benefits of working at a college were also praised by survey participants. Five items vacation time, retirement plans, medical insurance, tuition reimbursement for employees, and life insurance were all rated highly by respondents.
The assessment process had two components: a questionnaire about institutional characteristics, and a faculty/staff questionnaire about individuals' evaluations of their institutions. The assessment also included an analysis of demographic data and workplace policies at each participating college or university. The questionnaires were administered online in March and April of this year.
Survey respondents were asked to address 60 statements using a five-point scale, ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with 18 benefits, respond to two open-ended questions, and answer 15 demographic questions.
The faculty/staff survey statements are categorized into 12 dimensions, each one forming a Great College recognition category, such as collaborative governance or compensation and benefits.
For analysis, the applicant pool was divided into two classifications; four-year institutions and two-year institutions. Within each of these classifications, there were three groups, based on total undergraduate and graduate enrollment: small (2,999 or fewer students), medium (3,000 to 9,999), and large (more than 10,000). Recognition in a particular Great College category was given to the 10 highest-scoring institutions in each size for four-year colleges, and the three highest-scoring institutions in each size for two-year colleges.
Honor Roll recognition, for four-year colleges, was given to the 10 institutions in each size that were cited most often across all of the recognition categories. For two-year colleges, Honor Roll recognition was given to the three institutions that were cited most often in each size category."
Meanwhile, HCTC received a similar state honor during the spring when it was named as one of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky 2010. The awards program, created in 2005, is a project of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky SHRM Council and Best Companies Group. This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Kentucky, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce and businesses.
Dr. Williams noted that HCTC employees are committed to student success and focus on upgrading their skills through professional development.