Page 14-15 - TROY Magazine - Fall 2013

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TROY Magazine
TROY Magazine
Emma Johnson didn’t need
a national publication on higher
education to tell her TROY was a
great place to work. It was a fact
with which she was already well
In July, The
Chronicle of Higher
Education, the nation’s
leading news source
on higher education,
named TROY a “2013
Great College to Work
For.” The University
made the list in the
“Work/Life Balance”
category, based on a
two-part assessment
process that included a
survey administered to
faculty, administrators
and professional
support staff, and
an institutional
audit that captured
demographics and
workplace policies and
practices. More than
44,000 employees at
300 institutions were
surveyed, with just 97
institutions achieving
the recognition.
Now in its sixth
year, the “Great
Colleges” survey is
one of the largest
and most-respected
workplace recognition
programs in the country.
For Johnson, office manager at the
Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts
on the Montgomery Campus, this was
old news.
“I’ve always felt that the
Chancellor and his team have done
a good job ensuring that we have
the resources we need to run the
various departments effectively,
which contributes to a good working
environment and allows us to focus on
quality,” Johnson said.
A retired Air Force sergeant,
Johnson has worked with TROY for
nearly 10 years. She benefitted from
the University’s Tuition Assistance
program for employees and completed
her bachelor’s degree in psychology in
2005 and her master’s in counseling in
2008. And, in turn, the University and
its students are benefiting from her
education as well. Johnson has begun
teaching psychology classes as an
adjunct instructor.
“TROY does a good job of
enabling its employees to advance
their careers and grow professionally,”
Johnson said. “TROY’s flexibility and
willingness to work with employees
makes you feel empowered to learn
and grow.”
It is not only the benefits the
University extends to employees but
the spirit in the workplace that makes
TROY special.
“Troy University is a great
college to work for because of the
professionalism and community
present within the faculty and staff,”
said Ivan L. Merritt, Associate Dean
of First Year Studies and a professor
of Leadership Development. “Add
to great working relations in the
organization, a challenging to educate
and prepare our students for their
future professional and leadership
roles in life, and you have a very
desirable work setting.”
For Gayla White, Director of
Development on TROY’s Dothan
Campus, working for her alma mater
adds to the equation.
“Being an alumna and getting to
come back and work with the faculty
and staff with whom I bonded as a
student had been wonderful,” said
Gayla White, director of development
Dothan Campus. “It’s like being a
part of an extended family that has a
common goal. It has been the greatest
job a person could ask for.”
Helen Frost, administrative
assistant in the Office of Montgomery
Campus Vice Chancellor Ray White,
has worked for the University for
27 years and said it is that “family”
atmosphere that contributes to a
positive work environment.
“My experience has been that
students come first, and customer
service is the most important part of
the job,” Frost said. “The employees
at TROY have always been like a
family, and we work together to make
sure we are meeting the needs of our
students. We also work together to be
sure that everyone is able to strike the
right balance between work and life.”
Dr. Scott Nokes, president of the
University’s Faculty Senate, agrees.
“At TROY, we talk a lot about ‘a
culture of caring,’ but in terms of
faculty – and it spills over into the
staff – that culture really is about
caring for one another,” said Dr. Scott
Nokes, president of the University’s
Faculty Senate. “That gives our
people a peace of mind that cannot be
found in a contract or policy manual.
The University family supports not
only professional development of
its employees but also encourages
personal growth and family support.”
The phrase ‘culture of caring’ was
coined by an outside observer with
a visiting accrediting team from the
Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools during the University’s
last accreditation cycle. It is the
spirit behind that phrase that TROY
University Chancellor, Dr. Jack
Hawkins, Jr., feels is responsible for
such rankings.
“People care about each other at
Troy University and we care greatly
about our students,” Dr. Hawkins
said. “We often say that the most
important thing we do is to serve
students, but it takes great people to
make that happen and that’s what we
have here at Troy University.”
Ellis is university relations director.
“The phrase, ‘there is nothing like the feeling of home’ comes to mind when I think about my interactions
at Troy University. It is this family-like work atmosphere, akin to the camaraderie I felt during my 28 years
in the military, that keeps me excited about coming to work. This feeling of belonging is bolstered by the
stated mission, vision, and strategic plan for where the organization is headed and how it will to get there.
This clarity of purpose has garnered my belief in the journey and has in-turn elevated my passion for
telling the Troy University story.” Shown here with his wife Jerdie at a TROY footbal game.
Chris Shannon, Associate Director Leadership Development
Kathy Ninas, Director of Advancement on the Phenix City Campus, shown here with her husband, Rusty, a
1970 TROY graduate, said being a part of the University’s staff is exciting. “Dr. Hawkins and the leadership
at TROY have always shown true appreciation for the University’s employees and true commitment to
the communities the University serves,” Ninas said. “It has been thrilling to be a part of TROY’s role in
transforming the Phenix City Riverfront district and to promote the innovative new programs the University
will have available for our students.”
Kathy Ninas, Director of Advancement Phenix City Campus
by Andy Ellis