Tag Archives: Living Wage

AASHE 2020 Conference presentations (great news)

I have some great news…I’ve been formally notified that I’ve had two proposals for presentations accepted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its 2020 Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE has provided a welcoming venue for my research since 2016 and provided opportunities for my work to reach administrators, students, and faculty across higher education. I’m delighted to be part of this year’s virtual conference, which runs October 20-22. The theme of the conference is “Mobilizing for a Just Transition,” which I think is particularly fitting now because we will have numerous opportunities to challenge our thinking about why we do things the way we’ve done them as we eventually emerge to the “next normal.”

The first presentation is titled (Some of the) Surprising Findings About Living Wages in Higher Education During a Global Pandemic. I framed the presentation this way so I could include some of the most interesting and surprising things I learned through both my study of living wage policies and practices at 4-year institutions (first quarter of 2020) and my just concluded study of community colleges. This talk is in a 15-minute “On-Demand Lightning Talk” format, so this talk will be fast. I promise it will be informative, and I will do my best to make it fun.

The second presentation is titled: “Your Mileage May Vary”: Creating Your Institution’s Roadmap to Just Employment. This talk is also intended to be inclusive of attendees from both 4-year institutions and community colleges. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned (primarily through interviews with Chief Human Resources Officers) about the different paths that institutions have taken to enacting written living wage policies or adopting unwritten living wage practices. Participants will be able to apply that information in a way that best fits their institution’s intentions and situation. This session was originally proposed as a half-day pre-conference workshop, but that format has been discontinued with the change to a virtual conference; it is now a 40-minute “SimuLive” session, which will include a live Q&A segment during the session. I’m very happy with both format changes, especially so for this session, which will be available to many more people within the basic conference price.

The terrific folks at AASHE are reimagining the conference from the ground up, and the peek I’ve had at behind-the-scenes looked awesome. You can catch all the details at the link at the top of this post.

I look forward to connecting at the conference with colleagues — both new and familiar — who are interested in social sustainability.  See you in October!

 

Survey of community and technical colleges closes this Thursday (7/9)

We’re now in the last week of the survey data collection phase for my study of community colleges and technical colleges which will continue through Jul 9.

I’m personally sending an email to the Chief Human Resource Officer of every public locally-governed community and technical college, each multi-college CC district, and each state system or governing board for centralized community or technical college system 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 response to the survey has been excellent — despite the pandemic — with almost 12% of all colleges, districts, and state governing systems participating. We’re hoping to add more institutions to the study this week.

The updated survey takes less than 4 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. Institutions completing surveys or participating in interviews 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 America’s community and technical colleges without your help!

Thank you! Ken

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.

Timeframe

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!

Ken

Preliminary survey results delayed

The past month has been a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty. Although I have no idea what the new normal is, or when we will know it has arrived, there are encouraging signs everywhere about people helping each other through this situation. Those signs help make me even more hopeful about the future.

The COVID-19 situation has affected everyone’s lives and work in some way, and my own work is no exception. Originally I planned to distribute the summary of preliminary results from the recently completed survey last week. Unfortunately that summary will not be available until later in May. I’ll be distributing the summary document to participants via email and posting word of it here.

Please stay safe.

Ken

 

 

Thank you, and yes, you can still complete the survey (please do!)

Greetings! This’ll be brief, touching on three things…

First, some huge and heartfelt thanks to the hundreds (!) of institutions that completed the survey during what is a very busy time of year. It is impossible for me — or anyone — to conduct this research unless busy CHROs and their staffs make the time to provide me the needed data. I appreciate your time more than I can express. I’m beginning my data analysis this week; if you participated in the study, you can expect to receive my summary report of preliminary (i.e., pre-publication) findings by the end of March

Second, while the published closing date for the survey has passed, I’m holding the survey open for as long as I can for anyone who was unable to complete it by last Friday. The survey link I sent you via email will still work. If you need the link resent — or want me to send it to a colleague to complete the survey for your institution — please simply drop me a note at weidner@sju.edu or call 610.660.2112.

Third, I’ll also be in touch soon by email and phone with three groups of people regarding:

  1. Completion. Before I can begin my analysis of the data, there’s the important step of cleaning and verifying the data. For a handful of surveys, a response may be missing or incomplete. I’ll be engaged in some outreach to see if we can make those surveys “complete” and make the resulting data usable. 
  2. Clarification. For a handful of public institutions that are part of multi-institution systems, I’ll be in touch to clarify which wage policies/practices are centralized and which are decentralized. 
  3. Collection. I’ll be following up with CHROs in a couple of groups of institutions in which I have heightened interest, as I am trying to get as close as possible to 100% participation — as my reviewers of an earlier manuscript requested! 

Each of the above shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes at most. Thanks in advance for your help.

Again, thank you.

Appreciatively, 

Ken