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Creating a Tipping Point: Strategic Human Resources in Higher Education: ASHE Higher Education Report, Volume 38, Number 1

Creating a Tipping Point: Strategic Human Resources in Higher Education: ASHE Higher Education Report, Volume 38, Number 1

Alvin Evans, Edna Chun

ISBN: 978-1-118-43745-2

Apr 2012, Jossey-Bass

168 pages



In a turbulent, unstable era of severe financial pressures, the development of strategic human resource (HR) practices has become an urgent mandate in higher education. With significant and widespread institutional shifts resulting from globalization, heightened competition, and rapid innovation, educational leaders must optimize their most significant resource—human capital—and align HR strategies, structures, and processes with organizational goals. Due to substantial cuts in state appropriations and rapidly diminishing budgets, public institutions of higher education in particular are struggling to realign resources and programs to fulfill their educational missions and maintain academic quality, while simultaneously responding to complex external legislative and accreditation mandates.

In light of these challenges, Creating a Tipping Point: Strategic Human Resources in Higher Education breaks new ground by presenting a research-based approach that supports the evolution of HR practices from siloed, transactional models to strategic operations that serve the entire university. This monograph provides a concrete, progressive road map to developing organizational capabilities in support of the university's academic mission and illustrates this pathway with examples drawn from public research universities. It offers strategies, tools, metrics, and action steps that support the development of an effective and efficient strategic HR operation in higher education. For institutions seeking to implement strategic HR, this book is a practical and invaluable resource.

Executive Summary vii

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Setting the Stage: Funding Realities and Talent Resources 1

The Shifting Budgetary Equation 8

Federal Funding and Public Research Universities 11

Research Funding and the New "Business Paradigm" 13

Endowment, Gifts, and Other Revenue Sources 15

External Pressures on Talent Resources 16

Concluding Perspectives 25

Looking Beyond an Administrative Human Resources Department: HR and Institutional Performance 29

The Evolution of High-Performance HR Systems 31

The Empirical Link Between Strategic HR and Organizational Performance 34

Strategic HR Constructs 36

Application of Strategic HR Principles in Higher Education 40

Concluding Perspectives 43

Strategic HR and Talent Management in Higher Education 45

The Contribution of HR Principles to Talent Acquisition 48

Diversity in the Talent Management Continuum 52

Total Rewards and Talent Management 54

Concluding Perspectives 65

Strategic HR and Organization Development: A Holistic Process 69

The Counterpoint Between Organizational Learning and Organization Development 71

The Crosswalk Between AQIP Principles and Organizational Capabilities 73

The Psychodynamics of Organization Development 73

The Contribution of Employee Relations Programs to Organization Development 78

Performance Evaluation and Organization Development 80

Leadership Development 83

The Vital Role of Employee Assistance Programs 86

Concluding Perspectives 88

Building an Effective and Efficient Strategic HR Operation 91

HR Analytics 92

The HR Audit 96

Entrepreneurial HR Strategies 98

HR as Chief Integrative Leader 103

Concluding Perspectives 105

Recommendations and Implications for Practice 107

Presidents and Boards of Trustees 108

HR Leaders 108

HR Departments 108

Looking Forward 109

References 111

Name Index 131

Subject Index 135

About the Authors 143