UK Earns ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ Designation, Recognized in 8 Categories

UK Law Interim Dean Mary J. Davis, taught her class on September 2, 2020. Photo by Pete Comparoni | UKphoto

The University of Kentucky is a great college to work for, according to a new survey conducted by Modern Think. For the third consecutive year, the university is being recognized by the research and consulting leader in workplace issues.

The results, to be published this week in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education, are based on a survey of 221 colleges and universities. In all, 79 of the 221 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Now in its 13th year, the Great Colleges to Work For survey is one of the largest and most respected workplace recognition programs in the country. 

“This year’s list of recognized institutions in the Great Colleges to Work For program was united in their commitment to organization culture, even in the face of a worldwide pandemic,” said Richard K. Boyer, senior consultant at Modern Think. “They stand apart in their recognition that workplace culture can actually be a roadmap for navigating uncertainty.”

While UK has ranked in previous years on the list, this year marks the first time it has ever achieved Honor Roll status, recognized in eight total categories. Recognizing distinguished institutions for creating exceptional work environments, the Honor Roll comprises institutions that received distinction ratings, 70% positive ratings or higher, in all 15 categories measured.

“To be recognized in eight categories this year and earn a place on the Honor Roll is especially gratifying, because it is based on feedback directly from our staff and faculty,” said Kim Wilson, vice president and chief human resources officer. “We have long had a reputation for our strong benefits package, but this year’s recognition is further evidence of how our workplace is about so much more than that. We are a collaborative community where the very best staff and faculty work every day to fulfill both their professional goals and our collective mission.” 

UK’s employees reported high satisfaction in Collaborative Governance; Compensation & Benefits; Confidence in Senior Leadership; Facilities, Workspace & Security; Respect & Appreciation; Teaching Environment (Faculty Only); Tenure Clarity & Process (Faculty Only); and Work/Life Balance.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional questionnaire that captures employment data 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 is the employee feedback.

Our mission is infused into everything we do to serve the Commonwealth,” said one university employee who participated in the survey. “The University of Kentucky leadership is truly focused on student success and addressing the pressing health care disparities that plague the state and region.”

Serving as a testament to the university’s continued commitment to the day-to-day experience of the faculty and staff and the overall health of the institution’s culture, the ongoing recognition by Modern Think is an honor university leaders have long been proud of.

“While accolades and awards are gratifying reminders of the work we do, it’s our people who make this community so powerful,” said President Eli Capilouto. “We appreciate your invaluable work and all the ways you make us the University of, for and with Kentucky.”

Guiding our students to become productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and leaders, UK’s recognition as a Great College to Work For acts as a beacon of the ongoing commitment that our faculty and staff display in a commitment that the university will continue to uphold for many years to come.