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OPINION

3 Baptist colleges named best workplaces

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education has named three Baptist universities among the nation's top 42 collegiate workplaces.

Union University, Hardin-Simmons University and Baylor University were included on the 2011 "Great Colleges to Work For" honor roll. The results, released July 25 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.

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In all, 111 of the 310 institutions achieved "Great College to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies, with only 42 of the 111 receiving "Honor Roll" recognition. Of those 42 institutions, Hardin-Simmons was one of 10 in the "small four-year college" category, Union one of 10 in the "medium four-year college category" and Baylor one of 10 in the "large four-year college category." The remaining 12 were two-year colleges.

Union was one of only three schools nationally to win honors in 11 of 12 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.

Baylor and Hardin-Simmons each earned recognition in 10 categories.

"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."

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Hardin-Simmons President Lanny Hall said the recognition is "heartwarming."

"For many years, the HSU board of trustees has worked to provide a beautiful and welcoming campus, excellent employee benefits and sound employment policies," Hall said. "This recognition represents the fruit of the trustees' labor, reflected in the survey responses of our grateful faculty and staff."

Elizabeth Davis, Baylor's executive vice president and provost, said the honor informs the higher education community of something those who work at Baylor have known for a long time.

"Baylor is a deeply rewarding place to work, filled with energetic and talented people who are inspired by the university's mission of combining academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community," Davis said.

Union, located in Jackson, Tenn., is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Hardin-Simmons, located in Abilene, Texas, and Baylor, in Waco, Texas, are affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit involving 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.

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

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

This report is a compilation of news releases from Union, Hardin-Simmons and Baylor universities.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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