FIU celebrates its recognition as one of the greatest colleges to work for

“What’s so great about FIU? I think it’s the dynamic of the international environment. I would also say the genuine interest and support for growth that is shown from the leadership. When you’re happy, good things happen,” said David Chang, professor and director of Art Education.

A crowd of lively FIU faculty and staff packed the Green library breezeway today to celebrate a milestone in the university’s history. For the first time, FIU achieved honor roll distinction in all categories of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “GreatColleges to Work For” – making FIU the only university in the country to receive the honor this year.

“We know that we have meaningful work at our FIU. This is meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of people – tens of thousands of people because they believe in you, tens of thousands of people have great opportunities because of your effort day in and day out to make a difference,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg at the celebratory event. “This is a university with people who care. This is a university where we strive to be the best. This is a university where we achieve big things. And that’s what it takes to be Worlds Ahead.”

“At the end of the day what makes FIU great is its commitment to people. Its students, faculty, staff and the community at large,” said Aragorn Vitali, program coordinator, Strategic Language Institute.

Employees in attendance took video and photos as the president thanked them for their dedication to the university. They proudly wore their FIU gear; chanted the FIU fight song along with the band; cheered on guest speakers; and danced to a special performance by FIU’s newest hit music group, “The Metrics,” who – in honor of the State University System’s Performance Funding Metrics – sang “Can’t Stop the Metrics” to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

The Chronicle based its list on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and an anonymous survey administered to 600 randomly-selected faculty, administrators and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“The thing that makes FIU so special is our D and I [Diversity and Inclusion]. We embrace diversity. We celebrate our differences in the workforce, and that makes us special,” said Shirlyon McWhorter director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

“After working here for a month, I truly know that I made the best decision of my life by choosing to work at FIU. This place is an extremely supportive community,and I am proud to belong to such an awesome place,” said Jerome Scott II, Student Government Association coordinator.


Faculty and staff were first asked to anonymously review the university’s work environment in 2009. Since then, FIU slowly improved. It took the university three years to be recognized in one category – diversity, recalled Jaffus Hardrick, vice president of Human Resources and vice provost for Access and Success. By 2016, Forbes ranked the university as second best employer in Florida after Publix, the highest ranking university in the state.

Hardrick added: “As a university we embarked on this journey in 2009, and today’s celebration is a testament that we believe in our FIU. It is a testament that reflects our commitment to advancing our university’s mission through forged partnerships. We are here to make FIU an exceptional experience for ourselves, for our students and for our community.”

Trudy Fernandez, director of Human Resources Relations, has been at FIU for 19 years and is a two-time alumna of the university. She was thrilled at the opportunity to celebrate FIU’s recognition. “FIU is simply a dynamic place to work. What I love the most about working at FIU is the vibrancy, our diversity, the ‘esprit de corps’ of our community to achieve what often times may seem impossible.”

For more photos from the celebration, visit