FIU receives recognition as a “great college to work for”

Melissa Burgess/ PantherNOW

When people think of college, they generally think of the students, the academics, maybe even the parties. But, many of the universities in the nation are also major employers.

Just like any big business, some universities are better to work for than others.

One of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country, The Chronicle of Higher Education recognizes colleges and universities that earn top ratings from their employees on workforce practices and policies.

Among these universities, FIU was honored as one of only 68 four-year institutions that achieved the “Great Colleges to Work For” recognition.

“This recognition celebrates our role as an institution that prioritizes the needs of our entire community,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “It’s especially important because it comes from our dedicated faculty and staff who are the heart of our institution and who work hard everyday to change students’ lives.”

This year’s results were based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities from across the nation with more than 46,000 responses. It’s a survey questionnaire administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff about their institution.

The assessment also includes an analysis of demographics, workplace policies and work benefits from each institution.

“I feel like FIU really does care for their students and that’s why they’ve gotten this recognition” said Jason Polo, a senior majoring in physical education and longtime employee at the Wellness and Recreation Center at FIU. “FIU has given us students the opportunity to attend school either full or part time and work conveniently on campus while being flexible with our schedules and allows us to grow professionally, academically and developmentally. FIU is always willing to lend out a helping hand to those who ask and need.”

Jason Polo at Rec Center with Co-workers

Jason Polo (middle) and his co-workers speak to Student Media about working for FIU.

The university is also among seven Florida institutions on the list and among the four-year institutions to make Honor Roll, which recognizes stand-out institutions for creating exceptional work environments.

FIU received honors in seven categories such as diversity, respect and appreciation, workspace security, compensation and benefits and, work and life balance where the university gives employees flexibility to manage their lives on the job and at home.

“It’s hard enough being a full-time student with extra curricular activities, having a social life, relationships and on top of that, having to work. But the staff at Rec Center completely understand that students are overwhelmed with life, so they give us the opportunity to pick our own schedules, trade shifts with co-workers, pick how many shifts we want to work, and what days. I am grateful that the Rec Center has always been there for me in terms of support and understanding that school comes first in trying to balance out my life,” said Polo.

The Chronicle for Higher Education also acknowledged the university for professional and career development programs, where employees are given the opportunity to develop skills and understand requirements to advance in their careers.

“The University has provided me an opportunity to grow both professionally and academically, and you know, FIU is a world class institution. They take care of their employees and invest in career development programs to create an environment and for both students and faculty to flourish,” said Francisco Fajardo, a clinical engagement librarian for the FIU medical library as well as an assistant professor for education technology.  

Francisco Fajardo and Co-workers1

Francisco Fajardo (middle) and his co-workers discuss being employed at FIU.

When asked about their favorite thing about working at FIU, both Polo and Fajardo mentioned that the friendships they have with their co-workers made their jobs and work environment enjoyable.

“We’re a tight-knit team. We’re a unit that depends and support one another,” said Fajardo.  

In March, FIU was also ranked No. 34 in  Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list and the second best ranked Florida employer after Publix. FIU moved up 30 spots from last year’s ranking.

FIU is the highest ranking university in Florida on this year’s list.  

“FIU is on these lists because of the commitment to excellence that our faculty and staff members put in on a daily basis, making our FIU a dynamic and desirable place to work. I couldn’t be prouder,” said President Rosenberg.


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