Tag Archives: higher education

Survey data collection ends February 14

We’re now in the last portion of the survey data collection phase for the study, which will continue until Feb 14.

As before, I’m personally sending an email to the Chief Human Resource Officer of every four year public and private non-profit college and university in the 50 states and DC, inviting them to participate in the study and to benefit from participating by receiving our research results in advance of their publication. The surveys will be sent on a rolling basis over the next 10 days.

The updated survey takes less than 8 minutes to complete. 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 living wage policies are asked to submit their institution’s policy (if you wish, we’ll redact all identifications of your institution), while institutions with living wage practices are asked to be interviewed (about 30 minutes) about their practices. For either branch of the study, institutions will not be identified in our research results and reports.

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!

A busy fall – and an inspiring video

Who knew that a sabbatical could be so busy?

In October I presented at CUPA-HR (Denver) and AASHE (Spokane) in back-to-back weeks. At each conference I got to meet many interesting people and reconnect with a number of colleagues.

I had the wonderful privilege of hearing and meeting Michael J. Sorrell, one of the featured speakers at CUPA-HR. Sorrell is president of Paul Quinn College, an HBCU in Dallas. He shared PQC’s singular goal: “To end poverty.” He discussed leadership, food deserts, student loan debt, textbook costs, and so much more.

Along with the rest of the audience, I found Sorrell’s presentation moving – beyond inspiring. And he was just as genuine when talking with me in person as when he was on the stage. Call me a fan.

I tried to pick out a favorite quote, but there are far too many to choose from; for example: “We believe small schools can do big things.” That’s my only spoiler.

Although video of his CUPA-HR presentation doesn’t appear to be available, I found a video of earlier presentation of his that covers some of the same themes and material from SXSW EDU 2018: https://youtu.be/snE6nBlwSxY (unfortunately most of the slides aren’t visible).

It’s worth watching. It’s worth an hour. It’s worth rewatching.

Please let me know what you think of his talk!

 

What do the 2019 AP Preseason Top 25 College Football Poll and our 2018 list of institutions with publicly-available living wage policies have in common? More than you might think.

You know autumn is just around the corner when the AP releases its annual pre-season poll of sportswriters and broadcasters ranking the top 25 college football teams. Since I both teach and earned my degrees at institutions that don’t play NCAA football, I don’t have a strong on-field rooting interest…

…but whenever I see a list a schools, I refer back to this project and last year’s (2018) list of 32 American higher education institutions (HEIs) with (either all or part of) a living wage policy publicly available on their institution’s website – that about 1% of all four year HEIs (see my AASHE webinar here).

It looks as though schools with (preseason) top-ranked football teams are more likely to have some form of living wage policy than the larger population of all institutions. Out of the 25 teams making the 2019 preseason poll, only 3 institutions were on last year’s living wage policy – that’s 12% of teams in the poll. Only 1 of the 21 teams “also receiving votes” in the poll is on the living wage policy list, so out of all 46 teams receiving votes, about 8.5% of the are on the living wage policy list.

The four teams/institutions are 16th ranked Auburn University (2018 Living Wage Policy score 40), 19th ranked University of Wisconsin (35), 25th ranked Stanford University of Wisconsin-Madison (90), and “also-receiving votes” but unranked Utah State University (20).

I’m pondering this: If all 3,000+ four year institutions in America had living wage policies at the same rate as the 46 vote-getting schools in the AP preseason football poll, there would be over 250 institutions with some sort of living wage policy (instead of 32).

This fall I’m soliciting participation from chief human resource officers (CHROs) in this project to answer that question. As before, I’ll be asking if living wage policies and/or practices are in effect. I’ll be asking institutions with policies to provide them, and I’ll be inviting CHROs at colleges with living wage policies or practices to be interviewed about their institution’s practices. Of particular interest to me is (a) how those living wage policies came about, and (b) the financial impact of those policies on institutions.

Exciting news: 2019 AASHE presentation

It’s been awhile since my last post; folks following the blog will be hearing from me more frequently during my sabbatical, which started earlier this week…

I’m starting off the sabbatical year with great news – I’ll be presenting at the 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo in Spokane, WA (October 27-30). I’m delighted because AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, aashe.org) has been an ideal venue for me to report on my research-in-progress and meet colleagues from a range of higher education institutions. This year’s conference theme is Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy, and the conference:

“…is tackling the root cause for the continued rise in carbon emissions: our dysfunctional economic system. The conference seeks to showcase and strengthen higher education’s contributions to the movement for a sustainable economy, which we see as inclusive of the exciting work happening under a variety of other names such as the solidarity economy, wellbeing economy, circular economy, post-growth economy, regenerative economy and restorative economy…”

My contribution to the conference is a presentation on the morning of Monday, October 28:

Illuminating the Invisible: How Institutions Address and Afford Social Sustainability” (9:15-10:15 AM, Monday 28 October, Spokane, Room 300D).

Click the title above for a full description of the session.

If you are planning on attending AASHE 2019 and would like to connect at (or before/after) the conference, please drop me a note.

I hope to see you in Spokane!

 

Great news: CUPA-HR 2019 presentation!

It’s nice to have a proposal to present accepted at a conference – and it’s even nicer to have a second proposal accepted the following year.

Last week I learned that my proposal “How Do Institutions Afford Living Wage Policies?: The Costs & Benefits” has been accepted for presentation to the 2019 CUPA-HR Annual Conference in Denver October 20-22.

I’m delighted because CUPA-HR (College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, cupahr.org) is a vibrant organization drawing HR professionals from across the spectrum of public and private higher education institutions, and this project depends upon the participation of Chief Human Resource Officers at American higher education institutions. As I posted last fall, the CUPA-HR 2018 conference was terrific, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they top that this year!

I’ll update this post with my presentation date and time when the conference schedule is finalized.

If you are attending CUPA-HR, please stop by. I hope to see you there.