Young Lee, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, and students.

 

A popular refrain: “Manchester
is a great place to work”

Manchester University not only is one of the best college workplaces in the nation, it is a role model for fair and clear faculty tenure policies. That’s the consensus of Manchester University employees and The Chronicle of Higher Education, which polled 45,000 employees at 300 institutions for its annual report, “Great Colleges to Work For.”

Manchester is the only small four-year school to make the “Top 10” Honor Roll in a five-state area of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. This is the fourth-straight year for Manchester to achieve Honor Roll status among the 97 colleges achieving “2013 Great Colleges to Work For” recognition.

Manchester University’s undergraduate program in North Manchester, Ind., received honors in six categories this year:

  • Teaching Environment
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Facilities, Workspace and Security
  • Collaborative Governance
  • Supervisor or Department Chair Relationship
  • Tenure Clarity and Process

In a major feature, “Well-Marked Paths to Tenure Put New Professors at Ease,” The Chronicle praises Manchester for its promotion process that emphasizes communication and support.

"I don't want there to ever be any surprises when someone comes up for tenure. (Faculty) should know where they stand," Dean Glenn R. Sharfman, vice president for academic affairs, told The Chronicle for its story.

Manchester faculty on tenure-track prepare annual reviews for Dean Sharfman and their department chair. Those reviews help to ensure they are on track, says physics Professor Greg W. Clark, recent chair of the University’s committee on appointment, promotion and tenure. During their third year, faculty members compile a dossier of their accomplishments for the committee.

Professor Debra Lynn, who also directs MU’s choral music program, participated in the survey with praise for the University’s habit of collaborative decision making. “We work to find solutions together, as a team. It is one of the primary reasons I’ve stayed here for 15 years.” While colleagues at other small colleges are dealing with arbitrary music program and budget cuts, Lynn says her voice is heard and respected at Manchester.

A brand-new $9 million Academic Center for many of the liberal arts college’s disciplines (and faculty), a modern Science Center and a Union filled with student support and lecture space undoubtedly fueled the high rankings for facilities and work space. All are accessible, high-tech and designed for faculty-student collaborations and learning.

“It truly is a great place to work,” said Michael Slavkin, associate professor and director of teacher education. He is particularly fond of the “comfort factor” of the 100-acre campus amid a North Manchester community rich with experiential opportunities for students. “Being so close to the community makes it great for our future teachers, who can walk to local schools for field experiences. We have state-of-the-art classrooms where they can learn how to implement technology.”

The Chronicle’s survey results are based on a two-part analysis: an institutional audit of demographics and workplace policies; and a survey of faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor was employee feedback.

For more about “Great Colleges to Work For,” one of the largest and most respected workplace recognitions in the nation and to view all results of the survey, visit The Chronicle online.

July 2013

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