Forbes names the University of Arizona one of 'America's Best Large Employers'

The University of Arizona ranks No. 28 in the education subcategory of the America's Best Large Employers list from Forbes. Shown here are Andrew Escoto (left), marketing manager for Arizona Arts Live, and Marisa Allen (center), associate director of unde

The University of Arizona ranks No. 28 in the education subcategory of the America's Best Large Employers list from Forbes. Shown here are Andrew Escoto (left), marketing manager for Arizona Arts Live, and Marisa Allen (center), associate director of undergraduate programs in the Eller College of Management. (Photo by Chris Richards/University of Arizona)

The University of Arizona is home to one of America's best workplaces, according to Forbes.

The University was included on the 2023 edition of Forbes' annual list of America's Best Large Employers, placing at No. 257 out of 500 employers and No. 28 in the education subcategory. The University was one of seven employers with headquarters in Arizona included in this year's list. It is the second time the University has earned a spot on this list.

"We are thrilled to see the University of Arizona recognized as one of America's best employers," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "We are committed to providing an environment where people can do their best work while also having access to resources that support their well-being in both their professional and personal lives."

Beginning in the new fiscal year, which starts July 1, the University will increase the staff minimum wage to $15 per hour, two years ahead of the timeline set in the recent Tucson Minimum Wage act, with the student minimum wage increasing to $14.50 per hour. In a memo to campus, Robbins said that the University will update the staff pay structure based on market analysis, along with adjustments due to the new minimum wage and the resulting potential for salary compression, and implement the FY 2024 Salary Increase Program, which will include guidelines for across-the-board and merit increases for eligible staff and faculty.

In 2022, the University expanded its paid parental leave program to up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave and 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave. If both parents are University employees, both are entitled to take leave. The University is also expanding the number of family-friendly spaces on campus, which includes a newly opened lactation room at McKale Memorial Center.

The University offers child care support programs, adult and elder care support programs, and programs to assist employees with physical and mental health. The University also continues to expand its flexible scheduling and work-at-home options. Employees also have access to on-site health and wellness screenings, fitness and nutrition guidance, and state-of-the-art fitness facilities.

University employees enjoy a strong benefits package, a comprehensive work-life program, innovative leadership development initiatives, and educational benefits for employees, dependents, spouses and domestic partners. The University has nearly 16,000 employees, with 55.7% identifying as female and 24.7% identifying as Hispanic or Latinx.

"I am grateful to the many colleagues, partners and members of our Wildcat community who work each day to make the University one of the best employers in the nation," said Helena Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer. "We strive to create an environment that attracts, grows and retains the best talent."

Forbes and German market research firm Statista selected this year's employers through an independent survey applied to a sample of approximately 45,000 American employees working for companies with more than 1,000 employees in the U.S. Across 25 industry sectors, 500 large employers and 500 midsize employers – or a total of 1,000 employers – have been recognized.

The evaluation was based on direct and indirect recommendations from employees who were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family. Employee evaluations also included other employers in their respective industries that stood out either positively or negatively.

Forbes describes the University as a large public research institution that "boasts a rich tradition" in athletics and academics, and "is a leader in space science and exploration."

In May, the University made its third consecutive appearance on Forbes' fifth annual Best Employers For Diversity list, placing at No. 248 out of 500 businesses with at least 1,000 employees. It ranked No. 18 out of the 40 educational institutions on the list, and No. 10 among public colleges and universities.

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