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ACE Launches National Challenge for Higher Education to Promote Faculty Work-Life Balance

June 19, 2013

National Challenge logo

Higher Education Leaders Urged to Sign Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility

ACE today announced the launch of the National Challenge for Higher Education: Retaining a 21st Century Workforce, a campaign that asks college and university presidents to promote faculty career flexibility on their campuses.

The National Challenge is the latest in a series of ACE projects supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that highlight and reward institutions for effectively recruiting, retaining and advancing faculty in their careers as a means of developing institutional capacity. This new campaign comes at a time when many institutions are starting to see four generations of faculty in the workplace, with each group looking for different ways to balance their work and professional lives.

Along with corporate America, academia is embracing the business benefits of these policies. When institutions develop a portfolio of work-life practices and supports, they experience reduced turnover, which in turn lowers expenses associated with recruiting and training new faculty. These policies also lead to increased productivity and higher levels of commitment and engagement among faculty members, both of which can increase the reputation of the institution. Institutions that put in place flexible policies in the culminating stages of faculty careers also benefit from the retention of institutional expertise otherwise lost when senior faculty retire. This practice is of particular importance given the looming wave of baby boomer retirements.

ACE also announced the 10 presidents and chancellors who are serving as Founding Coalition Partners. These presidents and chancellors already have signed the Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility and each has pledged to encourage five other presidents to join the campaign. The Founding Coalition Partners are:

  • John J. DeGioia, president, Georgetown University (DC)
  • Mildred García, president, California State University, Fullerton
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor, University of California, Davis
  • Renu Khator, chancellor, University of Houston System, president, University of Houston
  • William E. Kirwan, chancellor, University System of Maryland
  • David Maxwell, president, Drake University (IA)
  • Lynn Pasquerella, president, Mount Holyoke College (MA)
  • Steven G. Poskanzer, president, Carleton College (MN)
  • Lou Anna K. Simon, president, Michigan State University

"We've found time and time again that flexible workplace policies make for happier, more committed faculty, which ultimately translates to better outcomes for our institutions and our students," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "The presidents that have already signed have sent a powerful signal about the importance of this issue and this campaign, and I am grateful for the Sloan Foundation's continued commitment in this area."

Presidents interested in joining the campaign should click here to sign the statement of support, and then will receive materials to assist in implementing career flexibility on their campuses.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪ jriskind@acenet.edu

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