Improving our campus culture

November 16, 2022

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to provide an update on the University of Oregon’s work to improve our campus culture and foster a welcoming and respectful environment. In June, we shared the initial, high-level results of the IDEAL Climate Survey conducted by Gallup of our faculty, officers of administration, classified staff, and graduate employees.

The survey findings, which include university-wide results and other analyses by Gallup, are eye-opening, and frankly show we have much more work to do to ensure everyone feels valued and respected. We have come through a very difficult couple of years, and moving forward we must—and will—do better. We are each other’s most valuable resource, and our strong sense of community and shared purpose are among the things that I have most valued in my more than two decades at the UO. We cannot truly achieve greater success as a university unless everyone feels they have the opportunity to thrive.

The work to improve our campus culture is well underway. Over the last several months three committees further analyzed the survey results and worked on action planning. They identified several key areas for improvement. Four work groups are addressing these areas:

  • Employee engagement and onboarding
  • Equity
  • Response, reporting, and antidiscrimination
  • Faculty service, promotion, and tenure

Each work group is charged with identifying strategies, resources, tools, and activities in their area of focus to improve the campus climate. Each group will provide information directly to employees in the coming days and weeks about their work and the resulting strategies to address the climate survey findings.

In addition, the vice presidents and deans have now received access to the Gallup data specific to their units, schools, or colleges, and have begun their own assessments of unit level opportunities for improvement, which will ultimately include providing tools for unit heads to engage in this work.

Improving our campus climate is all of our responsibility. It requires reflection, commitment, and action at the university, unit, and individual levels. This work must also be continuous and systemic. Our ultimate goal is vital—to ensure every individual at the University of Oregon feels welcome, included, and able to achieve and contribute.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and to the survey committee members and leaders who worked tirelessly over the last several months to move our work forward. I appreciate your support and commitment to improving the University of Oregon.


Patrick Phillips
Interim President and Professor of Biology