USC voted ‘Best Place to Work’ in Columbia
By Liz White, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-2848
The University of South Carolina’s hard work has paid off. Readers of Columbia’s Free Times weekly newspaper voted the university the best place to work in the Capital City.
“That’s huge recognition for the campus, and I think also recognition of some of the positive things that are happening here at the university,” said Chris Byrd, vice president of human resources.
USC also was voted “Best Continuing Education Institution,” not just for being the state’s flagship university, but for its dedication to “helping working professionals and other nontraditional students meet their goals,” Free Times wrote. New athletics director and former head baseball coach Ray Tanner was voted “Biggest Local Hero.”
“USC welcomes the recognition in this area. We have long been involved in providing continuing education for the Columbia area,” said Lacy Ford, vice provost and dean of graduate studies. Currently, USC is in the process of developing an array of new online outreach efforts including the Palmetto College and the Back to Carolina program.
This is a positive time for USC, from growing enrollment and new discoveries in research to increases in fundraising and successes on the athletic fields. That translates into a better place to work, said Byrd, who credits President Harris Pastides and the university’s executive team for its aggressive vision.
“They know that we’re only going to accomplish our vision and make progress toward it through a team of outstanding faculty and staff,” Byrd said.
One of the university’s strategic priorities has been to improve the work environment for employees.
“The quality of the work environment at the university is a really important tool in helping to both attract and retain a high quality workforce,” Byrd said.
In the first seven months of 2012, more than 370 new employees had come on board at USC, bringing the university’s total number of employees in Columbia to 5,262.
USC’s Division of Human Resources is working with individual departments to develop employee recognition programs to recognize faculty and staff accomplishments. The department also is focused on promoting health and wellness programs in connection with Student Affairs and Healthy Carolina.
There are great benefits to working for a top tier university, as faculty and staff are a part of preparing students to be leaders when they leave.
“Our employees really are committed to our mission,” Byrd said. “They recognize that we play a critically important role in the state, and I think they take great pride in being a part of that.”
USC also boasts a campus where faculty and graduate students are conducting cutting-edge research that meets the critical needs of the world as well as athletic teams that are on the path to greater national prominence, Byrd said.
“What we do here really matters and that resonates with people,” he said.
What Free Times had to say about USC:
Best Place to Work
University of South Carolina
Runner-up: Lexington Medical Center
We thought Free Times was the best place to work. We learned we were wrong when longtime prolific contributor Craig Brandhorst decided last month to leave us for a job at the University of South Carolina. Given a choice between covering the university for a paltry freelance check or working there for a nice salary with benefits, Craig’s choice pretty much sums up why so many people in this town work at USC — or want to.
Best Continuing Education Institution
University of South Carolina
Runner-up: Midlands Technical College
You’re probably accustomed to thinking of USC as our state’s flagship university and home to thousands of hard-partying undergrads. That’s all true, but USC is also dedicated to helping working professionals and other nontraditional students meet their goals.
Biggest Local Hero
Runner-up: Michael Roth
He led the Gamecock baseball team to back-to-back national championships, and almost took a third at this year’s College World Series. Now, Ray Tanner’s set to lead the University of South Carolina to unprecedented heights at the school’s new athletic director. He can be your hero, baby.
For more of Columbia’s best see here.
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