The higher education job search process can be challenging enough without adding the pressure of a spouse or partner seeking employment as well.And from an institutional perspective, it’s frustrating to lose a top candidate because of limited employment opportunities for the other half of a dual-career couple.
The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) was founded in 2000 to address these challenges, and, since then, nearly 20 regional organizations have been created, now representing more than 700 colleges and universities.
In a matter of months, the Greater Kentucky area will add its own regional HERC organization, an effort led by Centre College that so far involves 26 other colleges, universities, and school systems. They will partner with one another and area hospitals, research labs, government agencies and numerous other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations for the common goal of hiring and retaining a talented and diverse workforce.
Creation of the Greater Kentucky area HERC has been led by Rodmon King, associate vice president for academic affairs and diversity initiatives at Centre, and with the full support of President John A. Roush.
“HERC has already strengthened communities across the nation in important ways through its impressive recruitment resources,” Roush said.
“I am confident that the creation of our own regional consortium will benefit us and our sister institutions in similar ways,” he added, “by helping attract the very best candidates and assisting their spouses and partners in exploring employment opportunities.”
Roush credits King for his leadership role.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Rodmon. He and his colleagues from neighboring institutions are positioning our region to accomplish positive outcomes that will be of great value not just to our colleges and universities but, most important, the students they serve.”
Inaugural members are Bellarmine University, Berea College, Centre, Midway University and the University of Pikeville; Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University; 16 campuses of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) system; and the Jefferson Co. Public Schools in Louisville.
Six of these form an advisory board: Berea, Centre, Jefferson Co. schools, KCTCS, Kentucky State and UK.
The Greater Kentucky HERC website is on target to launch in October, but in the meantime the new organization has begun a national search for its inaugural director.
Once up and running, area job seekers will also benefit from HERC’s very recent partnership with Google Search to boost employment listings as part of the new “Google for Jobs” initiative.
HERC’s founder and executive director, Nancy Aebersold, championed the Google partnership.
“Collaborating with Google Search is an exciting opportunity for us to broaden our reach,” she said, “and provide our members with access to a deeper pool of diverse talent.”
Aebersold is excited to add yet another regional consortium and is confident that the Greater Kentucky chapter will not only be successful but also continue to attract member institutions.
“Our philosophy is that diverse teams are more innovative and productive, and students are more successful when they have faculty/staff mentors to whom they can relate,” she said.
by Michael Strysick
July 31, 2017