We are writing to provide an update on the University of Oregon’s efforts to create a workplace climate that fosters equity, inclusion, and belonging—with the goal that every individual can achieve and thrive.
As part of this commitment to create a healthy and productive campus culture, the university conducted the IDEAL Climate Survey of UO Employees in April of 2022 with independent consultant Gallup. As previously shared, the results showed we have significant and important work to improve our culture and enhance the employee experience.
University leadership at all levels is committed to this work. We know that we cannot achieve our mission, support our students, and live our values if those who work here do not feel they belong, can contribute, and succeed.
Although the survey was conducted some time ago and reflects a snapshot in time, the responses reflect real experiences and perceptions. The processes of evaluating the survey results with employees and charting a course of action planning takes time. We are using the results to gain a better understanding of our campus climate and identify opportunities for improvement.
Gallup provided the university with the initial results in June 2022, which were shared with campus. Following more analysis, additional university-wide findings were shared in fall 2022 and again in the winter of this year. This spring, vice presidents and deans reviewed the school, college, and unit-level results, and used them to begin conversations with employees on unit-level action planning.
Gallup’s analysis of the findings identified several key areas of focus, including a need to:
- Improve engagement with employees so they feel connected and committed to their work and our mission,
- Enhance collegiality to ensure all feel respected, supported, and valued,
- Ensure employees feel they have equitable access to resources and opportunities; and
- Prevent and address incidents of harassment and discrimination, ensure incidents are reported, and ensure individuals know about and receive support and resources.
To address these areas of focus, the university formed four university-wide working groups in summer of 2022 and charged them with assessing resources, programs, policies and practices, and recommending improvements or changes.
Each working group is supported by an administrative unit and includes individuals on campus with expertise, responsibility, and/or involvement in the topic area. Climate survey questions were assigned to each workgroup to ensure a comprehensive effort to address all the findings.
The working groups focus are on:
- Engagement and Onboarding
- Response, Reporting, and Anti-Discrimination
- Faculty Promotion and Tenure, and Service
The four university-wide working groups charged with addressing the survey findings have provided updates to senior leaders on their activities and have made initial recommendations.
This message provides a comprehensive review of this work. There is a lot that we would like to share. The key information includes:
- Review of work groups and their assessments and recommendations
- Update on unit-level action planning
- Information about resources, training, support, and reporting responsibilities
The recommendations for any new or updated university-wide policy and program changes listed below, and others in development, will be shared with stakeholder groups for feedback, and reviewed and discussed by senior leadership and the units responsible for work associated with the changes.
This work is ongoing. It takes sustained effort and commitment. Improving our culture is a marathon not a sprint, and we remain resolutely committed to making the University of Oregon a great place to work, teach, research, and serve. We are also committed to continuing to communicate about these efforts and share updates on actions underway.
We want to thank the members of the working groups and all the individuals working to help us analyze, understand, and address these findings.
Again, below you will find additional details about the work group recommendations and the work being done at the unit level.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President