Forbes: CSU ranked first among Colorado-based educational employers

Summer On The Colorado State University Historic Oval, June 27, 2019

Forbes magazine has named Colorado State University the best educational employer based in the state.

CSU was ranked fifth among in-state employers in its “America’s Best Employers by State” rankings released Aug. 24.

The next highest ranked educational employer was the University of Denver at 10th, followed by the Boulder Valley School District at 11th.

“We are delighted to be recognized in this way – I know that for many years our focus on improving our employees’ overall experience here at CSU has been a top priority,” said CSU Interim President Rick Miranda. “We certainly have more to do though – it’s work that’s never ‘done’ – and we’ll be focusing this year on a variety of overall compensation and equity issues that include faculty, staff and graduate assistants.”

Recent employee-directed efforts

The honor comes on the heels of several employee-related advancements that CSU has made in recent years.

Professional development days and mental health days were implemented during the pandemic to recognize employees’ hard work and contributions, allowing the workforce to recharge and rejuvenate in the face of pandemic fatigue.

CSU also introduced flexible work schedules and remote work options to recruit and retain talent, and it expanded opportunities to attract a broader and more diverse group of job candidates. During the pandemic, CSU was able to preserve jobs and avoid layoffs, thanks to financial assistance from the CSU System and Board of Governors.

‘Our most valuable assets’

“We had a dedicated focus on limiting the impact on our most valuable assets, our employees, during the past three years,” said Robyn Fergus, vice president for human resources. “We even applied raises during this time.”

She added that increasing employee compensation has been and will continue to be a top priority, as are inclusive benefit options such as generous leave and paid parental leave options, which are among offerings that CSU reviews annually for possible expansions.

In addition, Human Resources is working on a multi-prong strategy to create attainable housing options for university employees. The first rental options will be available in the fall of 2023. Other efforts include mortgage assistance, education and assistance for employees facing emergencies.