The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

3 Ways HR Can Help Support and Retain Working Mothers


A recent Gallup article noted that the workforce is currently down 500,000 more women than men compared to before the pandemic. The cause? Many women have left or drastically reduced their working hours to care for young children or school-age children who are learning virtually at home. That so many working mothers have left the workforce due to the environment created by the pandemic is a big problem with even bigger consequences. Here are three actions steps HR can take to help support and retain this integral segment of the workforce.

5 CHROs Use CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index to Energize Their DEI Efforts


Higher ed institutions know how critical it is to have a diverse workforce, equitable hiring and compensation practices, and an inclusive work environment for all. Yet, this work can be daunting for HR teams who don’t know where to start. After all, improving DEI around faculty and staff doesn’t have a one-time quick-fix solution — it’s an ongoing commitment that requires thought, planning and intention. Here’s how five chief HR officers have used CUPA-HR’s DEI Maturity Index, sponsored by Segal, to energize and jumpstart DEI efforts and initiatives at their institutions.

Executive Order Directs Review of Trump Administration’s Title IX Rule


On March 8, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The EO sets forth the administration’s policy that “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment.”

Using Data and Empathy to Drive Decisions About COVID-19 Workforce Reductions


The higher ed workforce has been hit hard due to COVID-19-related causes. A recent article by The Chronicle of Higher Education shed light on the 650,000 higher ed jobs lost last year, and with potential budget reductions on the horizon, this number is sure to climb. While workforce reductions may be necessary for some institutions to stay afloat, higher ed leaders can employ strategies to handle them appropriately and with empathy. Here, we’ve highlighted how two chief HR officers are utilizing data and empathy to take action across several HR functions.

House Passes Equality Act


On February 25, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act by a vote of 224 to 206. Three Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill that would make employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful. The bill would amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.

10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day During COVID-19

by Jill Thompson

Employee Appreciation Day is right around the corner (March 5). As the typical initiators of employee appreciation and recognition, HR offices are looking for creative ways to show appreciation for faculty and staff on tighter budgets and modified for the remote work environment. With the help of several ideas shared in a CUPA-HR Connect thread, we’ve gathered a list of creative ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day modified for your remote workforce. The list ranges from no-cost options to options that require a little more planning and investment, but are sure to be a hit among your employees.

New CUPA-HR Brief Finds Crucial Need for Succession Planning and Focus on Diversity for the Higher Ed Skilled Craft Workforce


The higher ed skilled craft workforce possesses the skills necessary to maintain and improve the physical facilities and infrastructure of college campuses. However, the aging of this workforce and the lack of younger workers to take the place of older employees as they retire puts institutions in a challenging position to attract new talent. So what can higher ed institutions do to build and diversify the pipeline for skilled craft positions? Read the full brief to learn about opportunities for growth in areas of diversity and equity and recommended next steps for institutions.

HR and the Courts


CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent actions taken by the Biden administration to strike down the previous administration’s Executive Order (EO) on diversity training, a new EO calling on OSHA to determine the need to issue emergency temporary standards protecting workers from on-the-job COVID-19 infections, a ruling regarding hostile environment sexual harassment, and more.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on DOL Secretary Nominee


On February 4, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as the Secretary of Labor under the Biden administration. Walsh was nominated to serve as Secretary of Labor on January 7, 2021, beating out many other front runners for the nomination, including California Labor Secretary Julie Su, who has now been nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor. Here, we outline some of the important labor issues Mayor Walsh and Senators discussed during the hearing.

Boost Your Career by Establishing Meaningful Relationships With Other Higher Ed HR Professionals


As an HR professional on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, your relationships with other professionals can be a lifeline. These are people who can lend an ear when you need someone who understands the unique pressures of the work, provide answers to give you a leg up on a new project, and offer fresh perspectives on long-standing challenges. CUPA-HR membership opens the door to countless opportunities to connect with smart people who understand the unique challenges and successes HR professionals in higher education encounter every day. Learn more about how to get involved with CUPA-HR.