University based employee assistance programs and outsourcing: The case for diversified function

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Academic organizations are unique settings for employee assistance practice. Recent changes in both the workplace and the employee assistance field have raised questions about the economic viability of internal university based programs. Data collected by the International Association of Employee Assistance Programs in Education (IAEAPE) indicates that a trend toward outsourcing has emerged. This paper submits a three-part strategy for university based programs to strengthen their fiscal base and reduce the risk of outsourcing. Operationally, it suggests that academically oriented programs should embrace a "Diversified Function Model" that includes the development of external contracts, practice-based research and teaching. The author argues that internal university based programs are ideally positioned to rebuild the once vigorous relationship between the employee assistance field and the academic community. The multi-faceted value of university based programs is discussed in terms of knowledge building, education and professional credibility. Accordingly, the paper concludes that university based internal programs constitute a vital resource to the field and should be maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Workplace Behavioral Health
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Knowledge building
  • Outsourcing
  • University


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