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New England Universities Launch Recruitment Site

By Diane E. Lewis
THE BOSTON GLOBE

The region’s academic institutions are collaborating online to court talent.

Thirty-six New England universities and colleges launched an Internet site Monday with more than 3,000 job openings for faculty, administrators, and hospital personnel.

The New England Higher Education Recruitment Consortium’s site, found at www.newenglandherc.org, is free to job seekers and not restricted to people who work in academia. Jobs listed range from positions for professors and lecturers to openings for physicians, scientists, laboratory technicians, researchers, and medical and support staff.

“This will enable us to have an integrated database for many institutions in the area,” said Laura Fisher, associate dean of the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “It is a way to initiate a job search. The database goes beyond jobs because it gives people a sense of what the region offers. Anyone can access it, not just someone we would like to recruit.”

Initiated by Harvard University, the site was inspired by similar efforts in California and the New York-New Jersey region, said Jacqueline Hogan, director of the consortium. She said the site should make it easier for academia to place dual-career couples in faculty, administrative, or staff positions.

Evelyn Hammonds, senior vice provost for faculty development at Harvard, said meeting the needs of a job candidate whose spouse is also an academic can be especially difficult when an institution has no openings suited for the candidate’s significant other.

“The fact that places like Stanford, Princeton … have joined consortiums speaks to the fact that this is a problem for higher education right now, and everyone is trying to address it,” she said.

Harvard University made an initial investment of about $200,000 to launch the job site, which has listings from public and private institutions, five Boston-area hospitals, and several community colleges.

Each pays a fee to the consortium based on the number of graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at the institution. Fees range from about $2,900 per year for an institution with fewer than 3,000 students to $13,000 for large private institutions, with unlimited opportunities to post jobs. Consortium fees will be used to pay administrative costs and licensing fees and to maintain the site.

Hogan said letters went out last year, inviting the region’s colleges and universities to join. At the time, more than 100 institutions were interested. About 60 attended an inaugural meeting. In all, 25 became founding members of the site. Since then, the number of participating institutions has increased to 36.

Besides jobs, the site has information on schools, child care, relocation services, local government, transportation, religious services, as well as items of interest to gay, lesbian, and transgendered applicants.

Members of the consortium include MIT, Boston University, Boston College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Brown University, Dartmouth University, Worcester State College, University of Vermont, Bentley College, Berkeley College of Music, Emerson College, Northeastern University, Babson College, Simmons College, Emmanuel College, and Wheelock College. Hospitals in the consortium include Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital.