by Colton Campbell
The University of West Georgia recently was named one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs in 2018.
This marks the fifth consecutive year UWG received the recognition from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” magazine. UWG is one of only two universities nationwide to receive this honor in all five years it has been presented.
Dr. Scot Lingrell, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said being named one of the top 13 most-promising places to work this year is recognition of the great work his division does every day to prepare for the opportunities and challenges in helping build student success.
“Our three values of caring, collaboration, and growth and development are a very important part of what we do, and this shows that we’re doing the best we can to help students succeed,” Lingrell said. “All of the programs, services, activities and professional development we do within our division is actually paying off.”
Lingrell will be on hand at the annual ACPA conference in Houston, Texas, later this month to accept the award.
With a focus on workplace diversity, staffing practices and the work environment, the research team behind the study used a web-based survey approach to examine categories such as family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities.
“Now in its fifth year, Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs (MPPWSA) is a national recognition that celebrates student affairs workplaces that are vibrant, diverse, supportive and committed to staff work-life balance, professional development and inclusive excellence,” reads the opening paragraph of the report published in “Diverse.” “MPPWSA offers institutional leaders information that can be used to improve practices across their student affairs community, while also serving as a useful tool for employers, career services staff and job seekers across the country.”
UWG has conducted salary studies for the past three years, putting long and short-term plans in place to continue raising salaries for all employees to competitive levels. A 2017 study by the University System of Georgia revealed UWG has a regional economic impact of $564 million, directly contributing to jobs and higher incomes.
As an added bonus, faculty and staff receive free access to the 131,000-square-foot UWG Campus Center, which houses more than 100 pieces of fitness equipment, two large, group fitness spaces with 40 classes per week, a 48-foot climbing wall, game room, functional training fitness space, faculty- and staff-specific locker rooms and personal trainers.
Professional Development Opportunities
There is a sincere focus to develop not only students, but also employees, for growth and other opportunities through initiatives like Engage West!.
The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management has taken Engage West! to new heights. The initiative is a comprehensive suite of programs that develop and support faculty and staff by creating a culture of high performance and evidence-based leadership.
As a division that manages 20 different units, creating a sense of family and togetherness in the workplace has proven to be a vital component of success for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Teamwork is only one way UWG has been recognized as a family-friendly campus. UWG offers various opportunities for its employees to maintain work-life balance. Spouses of employees are given free admission to some athletic events, employees have priority in enrolling their children in UWG’s pre-K program, and there are variety of performances and annual events such as Safe Treat for student organizations to welcome families from the community to campus.
“We have been working very hard at creating an engaged workplace so we can fulfill our part of the university's vision to be a best place to work, learn, and succeed,” Lingrell said. “This award recognizes that the actions we are taking are making a difference.”
The list of 13 most promising places to work in student affairs (in alphabetical order):
- California State University Channel Islands
- Clark University
- Holy Names University
- Miami University
- Pennsylvania College of Technology
- Rutgers-New Brunswick
- Saint Louis University
- Shepherd University
- The Ohio State University
- The University of Vermont
- Towson University
- University of West Georgia
- Virginia Tech