Belhaven Named "2013 Great College to Work for"

July 23, 2013 (Jackson) - Belhaven University ranks as one of the top 97 colleges to work for in the nation, according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Based on Belhaven’s outstanding performance in the survey, The Chronicle of Higher Education further designated the University in its top tier as an Honor Roll institution, a distinction shared by only 42 other colleges and universities around the country.

Belhaven was one of only four universities in Mississippi to receive the honor along with Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi and Mississippi University for Women. Belhaven was the only Christian and private university in the states of Mississippi and Georgia named to the Honor Roll of top-tier institutions.

According to Dr. Roger Parrott, president of Belhaven University, Belhaven’s culture is what sets the university apart. “We hire highly gifted people who have a passion for our mission, and then we give our faculty and staff the freedom to do what God has called them to do,” said Parrott. “This makes for a winning formula. Unlike most of higher education, we do not build policies and procedures to restrict creativity. Instead, we free our employees to be used by God to contribute to our vision as a Christ-centered university."

A random sample of Belhaven’s 370 full-time employees was anonymously surveyed by The Chronicle of Higher Education for the study, along with 44,500 faculty and staff at other colleges and universities.

Bob Pennebaker, Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Belhaven Art Department, said, “What makes Belhaven a great to place to work for are the people; students, faculty, and staff. Within the entire Belhaven family, there is a genuine and authentic love and passion for what we are doing here.”

Dr. Donald Hubele, Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Belhaven English Department, paints a picture of the University’s uniqueness. “Belhaven is one of the most culturally, socially, racially, and economically diverse Christian schools in North America. This is indicative of our entire campus operation: faculty applauding the efforts of maintenance crews; coaches, housekeeping staff, students, administrators, and faculty–collectively cutting a wide swath of enriching diversity.” Dr. Reid Bishop, Associate Professor of Chemistry, contrasts Belhaven with other schools. “As a newer faculty member and having worked at other colleges, the level of involvement and support at Belhaven University instantly struck me. We all share a common vision to support each other. That ultimately gives our students a deeper learning experience,” said Bishop.

Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony, Chair of the Communication Department, tributes Belhaven’s success to the faculty, staff and administration, and their focus on the University’s goals and objectives. “I think much of it is our Christian mission and our worldview curriculum. In terms of our mission as professors, we are teachers first, and we definitely put our students first,” said Hayes-Anthony.

Last week Belhaven University was also named as one of only two universities in America recognized by “Best Christian Workplaces.” Commenting on Belhaven’s distinction, Dr. Al Lopez, president of the polling organization, reported, “Perhaps the most remarkable result from our perspective is the scores that represent your faculty. Based on my recollection, this is the highest score of any faculty group in our survey’s history.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education based its “Best Colleges to Work For” award on 12 sets of criteria, ranging from confidence in senior leadership to job satisfaction. Belhaven was named to the Honor Roll of best colleges by excelling in the following categories:

Professional/Career-Development Programs
Teaching Environment
Job Satisfaction and Support
Work/Life Balance
Confidence in Senior Leadership
Department-Chair Relationship
Respect and Appreciation
Tenure Clarity and Process

“In higher education, faculty and staff can chew up much time and energy in meaningless committees and on tension-filled politics,” Parrott said. “We have created a culture that minimizes those issues so our team can focus their energy outward and toward the students, rather than inward toward the process. This type of culture takes many years to build because higher education has grown dependent on normal structures, but we have many faculty and staff who want to come here simply because we operate so differently.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” program is in its sixth year and has become one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country.

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Belhaven University stands among select Christian colleges and universities and has been repeatedly named one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys." The University offers 30 academic majors across a full spectrum of disciplines as well as a variety of graduate programs. In addition, Belhaven has achieved the distinction of being among only 30 universities nationally accredited in each of the major arts – music, theatre, visual art and dance. All programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective and are guided by the mission to prepare students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Belhaven University serves over 3,700 students offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on its residential campus, an online degree program, and graduate and adult degree programs in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.


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