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W&L Named “2011 Great College to Work For” in Chronicle of Higher Education Survey

For the second year in a row, Washington and Lee University has been recognized as one of the nation’s best colleges for which to work by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Chronicle released its fourth annual “The Academic Workplace” report on Monday. It is based on a survey of almost 44,000 employees at 310 colleges and universities.

Of those institutions the Chronicle surveyed, 111 achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. The publication gives results for small, medium and large institutions. Washington and Lee is included among the small universities, with 2,999 or fewer students.

Washington and Lee won awards in three categories:

  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Facilities, Workspaces & Security
  • Job Satisfaction

“The University’s strategic plan has placed a premium on the University’s people, and these results are one indication that we are headed in the right direction,” said Steve McAllister, vice president for finance and treasurer at W&L.

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

The survey was given to a random group of 400 administrators and faculty, and the overall response rate was 42 percent.

“This is the third time that we have participated in the Chronicle’s survey,” said Amy Diamond Barnes, executive director of human resources at W&L. “When we first participated during 2009, we were able to expand the survey to include the entire population of employees.

“Although the Chronicle’s program does not currently survey non-exempt employees, we are committed to surveying all segments of our population every third year and continue to press the Chronicle to expand its survey to include all work groups.”

To administer the survey and analyze the results, the Chronicle worked with ModernThink L.L.C., a consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide. “Great Colleges to Work For” is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country