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a great place to work

Colby-Sawyer College Named a "2010 Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education

Colby-Sawyer College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the nation's premier source of news about colleges and universities.

The results, published in The Chronicle's third annual report on The Academic Workplace on July 26, are based on a survey of more than 42,000 employees at 277 colleges and universities. The survey was sent to 261 full-time Colby-Sawyer employees; 52 percent participated.

President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. says the honor recognizes Colby-Sawyer's strong support for its employees and the college community's unified commitment to student success.

“The people with whom it starts are the students,” says President Galligan. “We are here to benefit our students through education so they can make the world a better place. What makes us work well together is that common purpose and the fact that we know we will serve that purpose most effectively if we work together and appreciate one another.”

The community aspect of Colby-Sawyer has long been a point of pride and distinction, and its strength was clear in the feedback provided by the college's employees.

“Most significant about this distinction is that it is based on feedback directly from our own employees,” says Colby-Sawyer Director of Human Resources Sharon Beaudry. “We generally have a good sense of employee satisfaction as we talk to people around campus, but to have it validated by a third-party survey is really appreciated.”

Deborah Taylor, academic vice president and dean of faculty, says that after 34 years at Colby-Sawyer, she especially values the nimbleness of the college and its adaptability, combined with the way in which it preserves its values and its central core mission – the focus on the education of and care for students. “A great place to work needs to be one in which people appreciate their interactions with one another and the conditions of their work, and one in which people value and believe in the mission of the organization,” says Vice President Taylor. “It means a great deal to have this accolade come to the college by way of The Chronicle of Higher Education, but really through the responses that our community members have shared about their experiences of working here.”

In all, only 97 of the 277 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium and large institutions, with Colby-Sawyer included among the small institutions with fewer than 3,000 students.

Colby-Sawyer achieved honors in five categories and earned one of only 39 spots on the 2010 Honor Roll for being among the most recognized in its size category. The five categories in which Colby-Sawyer was recognized are: collaborative governance; compensation and benefits; work/life balance; confidence in senior leadership; and respect and appreciation.

Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students David Sauerwein, who has been with the college for seven years, says what makes Colby-Sawyer a great workplace for him is that the college is a place of integrity that encourages new ideas and provides excellent support for families in a beautiful location.

“Common sense rules the day, and staff and faculty work together as educators, both in and outside of the classroom,” says Vice President Sauerwein.

Vice President Sauerwein and his partner, Kim Whitney Sauerwein, associate director of Career Development and adjunct professor in the Social Sciences and Education Department, consider themselves a Colby-Sawyer family – two of their daughters attend the Windy Hill School on campus and the four often commute to campus together.

“The extent to which this is a family-friendly place to work is remarkable,” says Kim Whitney Sauerwein. “This is an institution of high integrity which creates a strong community among faculty, staff and students. As a career counselor, I advise students to find work that they love and to work for institutions that they believe in. Colby-Sawyer is that for me.”

Colby-Sawyer's support of its employees' work-life balance is one benefit that Beaudry is particularly glad to have recognized.

“Colby-Sawyer has been working to improve its work-life balance benefits, and we emphasize with candidates that working at the college is a lifestyle. Through programs such as parental leave and the alternative work week, employees know they will be supported as they make life decisions and balance work with their family commitments,” says Beaudry. “When reviewing U.S. employment statistics, though it may not be apparent right now because of the economy, I'm reminded that baby boomers will be leaving the job market in droves in coming years. We want to be sure Colby-Sawyer is seen as an employer of choice. With our new compensation plan, competitive benefits and focus on work-life balance for employees, we're positioning the college well for the future.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey of faculty, administrators and professional support staff. Employee feedback was the primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition.

“I am honored to work here with a fantastic group of talented, committed, caring and focused people,” says President Galligan. “I know that the senior staff are honored that our confidence in each person as an individual and as a group is mirrored in their appreciation for our efforts.”

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. Learn more and view all the results.

-Kate Dunlop Seamans

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000