18:00 PM

Hiring of Dual-Career Couples to Improve with New Consortium Co-founded by Ohio State

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University has committed to addressing a common problem in higher education – the ability of dual-career couples to find employment at the same or nearby institutions.

Ohio State is partnering with Case Western Reserve University to establish a regional Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). The HERC will function as “one-stop shopping” for dual-career couples, offering a convenient online location at which couples can find information on higher education job openings within a commutable distance.

Ohio State’s federally funded pursuit of gender equity led to additional support for this initiative. Project CEOS (Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State) is an ongoing program designed to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. A National Science Foundation grant of $3.6 million funded the project’s launch in 2008.

Ohio State’s Office of Research has since established Gender Initiatives in STEMM (STEM + medicine) to enhance the recruitment and retention of women faculty members from diverse populations in STEMM disciplines. Together, Project CEOS and GI-STEMM secured additional NSF funding of $340,413 to help found the regional recruitment effort.

The HERC is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2014, and interested central Ohio institutions are encouraged to pledge to sign up by Nov. 8. A headcount of inaugural members will help founders establish the appropriate cost to participate. The average fee range, based on number of full-time equivalent employees, is $3,000-$7,000 annually.

“There is a cost to the institutions, and membership comes with access to professional development opportunities, discounts on employment advertising and, importantly, the inevitable expansion of the applicant pool,” said Mary Juhas, associate vice president for GI-STEMM. “Our goal is to improve not only the job-search process for higher-education applicants in this part of the country, but to enhance the quality and diversity of people looking for these opportunities.”

HERCs emphasize added diversity within the higher education applicant pool and are the only organizations designed to facilitate dual-career hiring among members. However, the jobs website is open to anyone seeking employment in the region.

“It’s estimated that at least a third of all academics in the United States are partnered with other academics and another third have partners who are professionals outside higher education. The pursuit of two good jobs in one city can be a significant challenge for couples like this, especially if they are unfamiliar with the surrounding area,” said Deb Ballam, a CEOS faculty fellow who is recruiting other Ohio institutions to the HERC.

This new consortium, headquartered at CWRU, will include institutions in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The national HERC organization was founded in 2000 in California. Fifteen HERCs with more than 660 member institutions – including nonprofits and government agencies in addition to colleges and universities – currently exist in other regions of the country. Four consortia – including Ohio’s – are in development.

Additional founding institutions are the Air Force Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, the LEADER (Launching Equity in the Academy Across the Dayton Entrepreneurial Region) Consortium, the universities of Akron and Dayton, and West Virginia, Wright State and Central State universities.

About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

Media contact: Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310; Caldwell.151@osu.edu

HERC contact: Deb Ballam, (614) 247-1879; Ballam.1@osu.edu