Welcome to The Chronicle's third annual special issue on the Academic Workplace, featuring the results of our Great Colleges to Work For survey. This year's survey is our biggest yet, with 275 colleges, both four-year and two-year, participating. That's up from the 89 in our first survey, in 2008. The growth seems to reflect a genuine interest among colleges in improving the campus workplace, and in spreading the word when those improvements make a difference. This special issue looks at many features that drew employees' praise, including professional-development programs, a shared sense of mission, expanded day care, and new ways to find out what faculty and staff members think and need to do their jobs better.
Of the participating institutions, 97 were recognized as Great Colleges, meaning they stood out in at least one of 12 categories, such as Compensation and Benefits. Based on feedback from readers and participants in past surveys, we reduced the number of recognition categories this year to what we believe are the core attributes of a great academic workplace. The complete list, with details on outstanding programs, is here. (We don't rank the institutions but list them alphabetically instead. For details on our methodology, see here.) Colleges that did well in many areas, indicating general excellence, made our Honor Roll, which comprises four-year and two-year colleges that were cited in the most categories.
This special issue goes beyond celebration. It also looks at the challenges of working in academe—especially for faculty members. Our "State of the Faculty" report provides a comprehensive and sobering view of the academic workplace, with articles on generational tensions, the aging of the professoriate, the waning of the "cushy" job of professor, and a rare campus where adjunct instructors feel that they are treated fairly. Colleges clearly have their work cut out for them, and we hope to hear from even more of you in next year's Great Colleges to Work For survey. There is no cost to participate. If your institution wants to take part next year, please send an e-mail message to the human-resources-consulting company that again administered our survey, ModernThink LLC, at email@example.com.
Putting together this special issue takes the work of many reporters, editors, and designers throughout The Chronicle's newsroom. Coordinating that extensive effort this year was Josh Fischman, a senior editor who supervises our coverage of the faculty, and Carolyn Mooney, senior editor for special sections. I hope you will agree that they put together a compelling package. We are always trying to improve this survey and are eager to hear your suggestions; indeed, some past comments are reflected in this year's presentation. Please send your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey J. Selingo, Editor