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Dual-Career Couples Focus of Hiring Consortium

Northwestern has partnered with the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Argonne, Fermilab and other area educational institutions to form the Greater Chicago Higher Education Recruitment Consortium.

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January 15, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has partnered with the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Argonne, Fermilab and other area educational institutions to form the Greater Chicago Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (GC HERC).

The goal of the consortium is to enlarge the available pool of applicants for faculty and staff positions, with a particular focus on assisting dual-career couples in finding suitable employment for spouses and partners at academic institutions in the same region. The Web site at http://www.jobtarget.com/home/index.cfm?site_id=1684 was officially launched in late Fall 2007.

"We've seen, increasingly, that Northwestern's success in recruiting faculty and staff depends on helping the candidates' spouse or partner find employment," according to Jean Shedd, associate provost, and an organizer of the consortium. "Finding appropriate employment for a partner or spouse is particularly important in the recruitment and retention of women and under-represented minorities."

GC HERC offers a web-based search engine that allows users to view listings of faculty and staff positions at all member institutions. Access to the position postings is available at no charge to anyone seeking employment in the areas of higher education, research, healthcare (medical centers), and arts and culture. The web site also provides links to information about living in the Chicago area, including schools, transportation, and sports and cultural activities. Academic and other departments conducting searches can direct candidates and their accompanying spouses or partners to the Web site to find helpful information about relocating to the Chicago area.

Twenty-two institutions in the Chicago area have become members of GC HERC, Shedd noted, with more expected to join in future. These member institutions anticipate that participation in GC HERC will help enhance the diversity and excellence of their faculty and staff, she said.

The first Higher Education Recruitment Consortium was developed in 2000 in Northern California to address the challenges of academic recruitment and retention in colleges and universities. Since then, six others have been established and two more are being planned. GC HERC is the first such consortium in the Midwest.