CHROs could be better utilized at colleges

June 29, 2017 | EducationDive

Dive Brief:

  • Chief human resource officers are under-leveraged on college campuses, often cut off from college leadership, and tend to make less than their counterparts in other industries, according to a new whitepaper produced by global executive firm DHR International.
  • According to the whitepaper, colleges and universities that hire CHROs are better prepared to address issues of increased turnover, can help increase an institution’s commitment to acquiring and retaining talent, can offer a renewed focus on diversity, and can help spur strong communication between employees and managers.
  • Some institutions are making these positions a role on the level of vice presidents, and bringing in CHROs from outside of the academic sphere can bring unconventional approaches to old problems, according to the whitepaper.

Dive Insight:

Maintaining a robust human resources department can be especially helpful in trying to establish and strengthen a culture of diversity on college campuses and in college staff. Many higher ed institutions have received criticism due to a lack of people from underrepresented groups in professor and faculty positions, and particularly in tenure-track positions.

In a discussion of key takeaways for CHROs, Rework describes that the work to make campuses more diverse needs to extend more than reframing hiring practices, but can actually require a company culture shift, which can be more difficult to do. Additionally, the rise of freelance workers involved in higher education, coupled with the decline in full-time tenure-track professor positions, can create unique challenges for HR departments at colleges and universities that may not be as pertinent in other industries.