The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Summaries of Recent CUPA-HR Letters and Other Advocacy Efforts

by CUPA-HR

Over the last few weeks, the American Council on Education (ACE), with the support of CUPA-HR and other higher education organizations, sent letters to Congress and federal agencies regarding policies impacting institutions of higher education as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a list and summaries of the letters CUPA-HR has recently signed on to.

Long-Term Remote Work: 3 Adjustments for HR to Consider

by Jill Thompson

The global health pandemic has reshaped where, how and when we do our work. Many employers are beginning to accept that remote work is not just a temporary work arrangement, but a long-term solution for employees whose job function can be completed outside a traditional office setting. Here are three points for HR to consider now that many employees are making the transition from an on-site position to a long-term remote work arrangement.

How HR Can Help Eliminate Racial Microaggressions in the Workplace

by Jill Thompson

Have you ever heard someone at your institution say to a person of color, “When I look at you, I don’t see color?” Microaggressions such as this “colorblind” statement may not mean to intentionally demean the recipient, but intentional or not, it denies a person of color’s racial or ethnic experiences. These commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities make the receiver feel devalued and unappreciated and communicate unconscious biases. How can HR combat microaggressions in the workplace and the policies that perpetuate biases?

3 Ways HR Managers Can Help Reignite Their Teams’ Passion for the Work

by Jill Thompson

Prior to the global health crisis adding more work to higher ed HR’s already-full plate, most teams had pockets of time throughout the week to pause and celebrate accomplishments and plan ahead for the next big project. Now, the increased workload has created a more reactive rather than proactive environment — a way of working that cannot be sustained over a long period of time without feeling the effects of burnout. What’s the HR manager’s role in preventing or addressing burnout? How can managers move beyond being overseers of the work and serve as encouraging coaches and mentors who reignite employees’ excitement for the job?

Summer Reading List Recommendations From Your Higher Ed HR Peers

by Jill Thompson

That professional development conference or in-person skills course you excitedly marked on your calendar at the beginning of the year may not be happening now due to COVID-19, but HR pros can still engage in professional development opportunities on their own time. A great place to start is by building a robust reading list of professional development and leadership books that will both challenge you and help you grow in your HR role.

National Science Foundation Revises Certain Award Terms and Conditions

by CUPA-HR

In early July, the National Science Foundation (NSF) revised a number of award terms and conditions to include a post-award disclosure requirement for undisclosed current support and in-kind contribution information. Along with this new requirement, each set of terms and conditions is accompanied by a summary of changes made to that document.

It’s Time to Take Action on Black Representation and Pay Equity in Higher Education

by CUPA-HR

According to CUPA-HR survey data, Black employees are underrepresented in administrative and faculty positions, the positions with the highest pay. Most Black higher education employees are in staff positions, the positions with the lowest pay and lowest pay equity. And when Black employees hold administrative positions, they are paid less relative to their White colleagues. To take a deeper dive into the data, explore CUPA-HR’s newest interactive graphic.

HR and the Courts

by CUPA-HR

CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent rulings around a faculty union suing a university claiming adjunct faculty layoffs violate the CARES Act, the Supreme Court ruling 6 to 3 that gay and transgender employees are protected against discrimination under Title VII, EEOC guidance concluding that the ADA precludes employers from requiring employees to submit to antibody tests for COVID-19, and more.

Keep the Momentum Moving Forward for DEI

by CUPA-HR

In recent weeks, we’ve highlighted key takeaways from CUPA-HR’s town hall meeting, Partners in Justice — We Will Not Be Silent! Leaning into uncomfortable conversations to help lead the charge for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and addressing systemic racism and inequality on the individual, team and organizational levels are just two of the “nuggets” our panelists shared. Now, it’s time to put these nuggets into action and keep the momentum moving forward.

Recent Immigration Updates

by CUPA-HR

Over the past two months there have been several important actions on immigration policy. Brief summaries of the activity include USCIS resuming premium processing in phases for Forms I-129 and I-140, DOL not extending COVID-19 extensions to respond to inquiries and recruit for PERM filings, ICE further extending interim COVID-19 procedures for Form I-9 compliance, the Supreme Court rejecting the Trump Administration’s efforts to end DACA, the Trump Administration suspending certain immigrant entries through 2020, and USCIS extending existing COVID-19 accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, appeals and other responses.