The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Three Ways HR Can Promote Cultural Appreciation Over Appropriation


HR is in a prime position to call out cultural appropriation when seen on campus, but more importantly, to help employees understand the difference between appropriating and appreciating a culture and its people. Here are three ways HR can foster an atmosphere of appreciation by encouraging campus communities to respectfully observe and celebrate Cinco de Mayo and other cultural holidays throughout the year.

House Vote Expected for Pregnant Workers Fairness Act


During the week of May 10, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will require employers to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Create Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment


On April 26, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (EO), which creates the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (Task Force). Citing the decline in union density, the EO and newly created Task Force aim to “encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining and to promote equality of bargaining power between employers and employees.”

President Biden Issues Executive Order Requiring $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors


On April 27, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) increasing the minimum wage federal contractors pay from $10.95 an hour to $15 an hour. According to a White House fact sheet, starting January 30, 2022, all agencies will need to include a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and by March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement it into new contracts. Furthermore, the higher minimum wage will need to be implemented into existing contracts when extended or renewed.

5 HR Considerations for Fall Vaccination Planning


Whether your institution is mandating, incentivizing or encouraging vaccinations for employees, HR has a critical role to play in how the plan is communicated and how barriers to getting vaccinated are mitigated. Here are five considerations for fall vaccination planning and resources you may also find helpful as planning gets underway.

Flexible Work Is the Future of Work — Seizing the “New Normal” for Increased Engagement and Productivity


A transformation of the workplace is taking place right before our eyes. From pandemic-driven urgency, workplaces are succeeding in meeting both customer expectations and employee needs through creative approaches that have redefined where, when and how work is accomplished. Those who seize this opportunity to reimagine work will reap the rewards of higher levels of engagement and productivity. Flexible work, an approach that allows an individual latitude in where they work, when they work and even how they work, is the recipe for organizations to emerge from the pandemic positioned to retain top talent, recruit the best from across the country and reach new levels of productivity.

New Report Findings: Higher Ed Administrators Overall Received Near-Zero Pay Increases Over the Past Year


The severe budget cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many colleges and universities to freeze hiring, cut positions, and, in some cases, decrease salaries. According to CUPA-HR’s recently released Administrators in Higher Education Annual Report, when salary increases occurred in the higher ed workforce over the past year, they tended to go to faculty, professionals and staff rather than administrators. Higher ed administrators overall received near-zero pay increases.

HR and the Courts


CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent rulings around the reinstatement of a professor’s First Amendment free speech and religious discrimination challenge to a university’s preferred pronoun policy on transgender students, an Equal Pay Act claim that a professor was paid less than comparable male professors, the NLRB abandoning a proposal that would have made student workers at private universities and colleges ineligible to form or join unions, and more.

The Future of Work in Higher Ed

by Lakyn Whaley

If 2020 has given us anything — aside from a new appreciation for the word “pivot” — it’s proof that higher ed is just as capable of adaptation as the corporate world. While research and data are still relatively new, and sourced almost exclusively from the corporate world, they can still help us in forecasting what might lie ahead. Here are just a few of the trends that are starting to take shape.