Tag Archives: Community colleges

Community college survey launched

I have launched the survey of American public community colleges regarding each institution’s written living wage polices and/or unwritten living wage practices. This survey mirrors the survey conducted of all four-year institutions that I completed earlier this year.

I had originally planned to begin this survey of community colleges immediately after the earlier study of four-year institutions, which luckily was completed in early March, just days before the coronavirus disrupted everything.

My hope at this time is that — despite the great uncertainty surrounding our campuses both this summer and for the coming fall — community colleges HR leaders are interested in learning about living wage policies and practices that their peer institutions have implemented. Doing so will take only a couple of minutes to provide valuable data regarding the state of living wage policies and practices in their institutions.

Who’s invited to participate?

I am inviting institutions to participate in the study by email, and to benefit from participating by receiving research results in advance of publication.

  • Roughly half of American community colleges are governed by a local board, and I am personally sending an email to the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) of each locally-governed community college.
  • For the half of community colleges without a local governing board, I am contacting the CHRO where the authority to approve policy is vested, either (1) a multi-college community college district, (2) a university within which the community college is housed, (3) a system of community colleges, or (4) a state-level board/agency.  

About the survey

Based on the previous study, the survey takes less than 4 minutes to complete, and the majority of respondents complete it within 2 minutes. All invitations to participate in the survey are sent from my email: weidner@sju.edu. The survey is hosted on Qualtrics (qualtrics.com), and invitees are provided a secure link to the survey.

Based on participants’ survey responses:

  • institutions with written living wage policies are asked to submit their institution’s policy (if you wish, we will redact all identifications of your institution); and
  • institutions with unwritten living wage practices are invited to be interviewed (about 30 minutes) about their practices (interview dates and times are available through the survey and run through July 3).

For either branch of the study, institutions and individuals responding will not be identified in our research results and reports.


The first invitations to participate will be sent out on a rolling basis through June 12; successive cycles of reminder invitations will continue until the survey closes (tentatively scheduled for June 26).

If you are a CHRO and haven’t received an invitation to participate in the survey, please email me: weidner@sju.edu.

If you aren’t a CHRO, please encourage your CHRO to look for the survey and complete it. Living wage policies and practices are an increasingly important subject that higher education institutions will likely need to address, either sooner or later – but we can’t learn about HR practices in higher education without your help!

Thank you!