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MSU ranks among best colleges to work

In 40 years, a lot of things have changed at Michigan State University (MSU). One thing that hasn’t is how Joe Darden feels about his job — he still enjoys it.

Happy MSU employees, such as Darden, are just one of the reasons MSU made Business Research Guide’s first annual Top 10 Best Colleges and Universities to Work For list.

“There’s no surprises to me,” Darden, a geography professor who has been at MSU since 1972, said of the ranking and recognition. “Usually that happens when you have good leadership, and that’s what we have.”

April Hastings, public relations director for Business Research Guide, said in an email the list was made using public information such as national and regional rankings, job satisfaction ratings, salary and job perks, as well as information collected suggesting certain universities went beyond the call of duty. MSU was ranked number six out of 10.

“We hope that colleges and universities benefit by attracting even better job applicants, and we’re sure that individuals will benefit by finding great places to work,” Hastings said, adding the positive feedback on the list has encouraged the publication to provide the list annually.

One way MSU goes above and beyond is its Family Resource Center, according to the publication.

The Family Resource Center provides the entire MSU community, including students, faculty and staff, support when it comes to family situations and more, Pat Enos, assistant vice president of student affairs and services, said. The online site provides everyone a one-stop shop for family services, and the center helps find day care services, sick child care and help with everything else from establishing breast-feeding rooms to finding caretakers for the elderly.

“This (ranking) is not just because of the Family Resource Center,” Enos said, adding MSU has many programs that support the well-being of its employees. “There are many pieces that are involved with being on the list.”

English senior Jay Szydzik was somewhat surprised to learn of MSU’s ranking as an employer, partially because the education the university provides often is the focus, not the employees themselves.

“Anything that’s rated positive about Michigan State gives a better image … of the college in general,” Szydzik said.

Other universities and colleges on the list include the University of Kansas (No. 1), Iowa State University (No. 2), Brigham Young University (No. 3), Georgia Institute of Technology (No. 4), Brown University (No. 5), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 7), Cornell University (No. 8), University of Pennsylvania (No. 9), and North Carolina State University (No. 10).

Nathaniel Ostrom, a zoology professor, said although he’s had certain differences in opinion with choices made by the administration, he has been fairly content in his time at MSU.

“Overall, it’s been a pretty pleasant environment,” Ostrom said. “There’s probably a good reason I’ve been here 15 years.”

Enos said no place is perfect, but the university has made strides to make MSU a good place to work.

“Michigan State has been building toward that for a long time,” Darden said. “We’ll continue to … become better as time goes on.”

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