For the third consecutive year, Austin College was named among the “Great Colleges to Work For” in a national survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Austin College has ranked every year the survey has been conducted.
President Marjorie Hass said, “We have a campus spirit of community and a shared sense of mission that makes Austin College a great place to work and a great place to learn. I am proud to see our faculty and staff recognized in this way. Our students know they are in a positive and affirming learning environment.”
The results, released the week of July 29 in The Chronicle of Higher Education, are based on a survey of more than 42,000 employees at 275 colleges and universities. Colleges are listed alphabetically.
Austin College was recognized in the categories of collaborative governance, teaching environment, and clarity of the tenure process. The survey found that faculty members feel they are included in academic decisions, are supported in an innovative and high-quality teaching environment, and the tenure procedures are easy to understand.
Bob Cape, director of the Johnson Center for Liberal Arts Teaching and Scholarship at Austin College, said, “I think one of the reasons for our success is that faculty and administration really have the same goals as far as the primary focus being on student learning. When faculty want to do things to promote student learning, the administration says, ‘Sure, we’re happy to support that.’”
Cape, a professor of classics, has taught at the College for 16 years.
“We (faculty) know that in the current economic climate, it’s difficult to fund everything we want to do. The administration is very open with us about the challenges that everyone faces,” he said. “This year in particular, President Hass laid out the budget to the faculty and said, ‘This is what we have to work with, and these are our priorities.’ It was nice to see it all laid out. That transparency is a great part of this College.”
The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: 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 employee feedback.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.