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U joins 47 other colleges and universities in Upper Midwest Higher Education Rec

October 15, 2008

There is strength in numbers when it comes to helping dual-career couples find jobs. In October 2008, the U of M will join 47 other colleges and universities in Minnesota and Wisconsin to launch the Upper Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (UMW HERC). This collaboration is designed to enhance dual-career and diversity hiring and is a premier example of the higher education community working together to advance the region. The UMW HERC region consists of five sub-regions: Lake Superior, Lakes and Valley, Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area, Mississippi River Valley, and Southern Prairie. Job seekers may focus their searches on colleges in a particular sub-region. A vital feature of the UMW HERC is its regional Web site, www.uppermidwestherc.org. The site can be used to find faculty and staff job postings at all member institutions. The search engine is free and available to anyone seeking employment in higher education. Dual-academic couples can receive automatic e-mail notifications when positions in their fields open at any of the colleges in their specified sub-region. If one member of the couple already has an offer, the spouse/partner will be able to monitor opportunities for him/herself. The couple also has access to diversity, cultural, and business resources in their selected sub-region.

"For example, a dual-academic couple in Physics and English targeting the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area sub-region could be alerted to position openings and peruse job announcements in those fields at many of the colleges or universities in the Twin Cities," says Mary Everley, UMW HERC director. "It allows for a much earlier and more effective job search for the accompanying spouse or partner of a new hire."

Assisting dual career couples is especially critical to recruiting and retaining faculty candidates. A recent study showed that 72 percent of faculty members are also members of dual-career couples. It is common for academics, particularly females in the sciences, to partner with other academics. The HERC concept originated in northern California in 2000 and the model has spread across the country. Approximately 400 public and private colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals in Michigan, New England, New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware, Southern California, Upstate New York, Metro New York/Southern Connecticut, the Chicago area, and the St. Louis area are now members of regional HERCs. The HERC organization has received recognition and support in such publications as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Women in Higher Education. For information about the UMW HERC and additional dual-career services available through the Relocation Assistance Program, contact Mary Everley at 612-626-0775 or send an e-mail to umwherc@umn.edu.