Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Workplace Solutions

Friday December 7, the Great Colleges to Work For task force will hold a town meeting to discuss solutions to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey in the Wyoming Union Ballroom starting at 11:30 a.m. All University of Wyoming faculty, staff and administration are welcome to come and join the discussion expressing their ideas to contribute to the development of the workplace. The task force, which led the survey, is asking for those coming to participate to read the results ahead of time. They are holding the town meeting to discuss and collaborate to find solutions instead of dwelling on problems. There will be a live recording of the event on WyoCast for those unable to attend to spectate.

“One thing we see in the survey data is that our colleagues want to have an opportunity to offer their input to decision making,” stated Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and task force Member Dan Maxey. “So, we’re going to try to model that here. The survey was everyone’s opportunity to give voice to their concerns, so we’re asking everyone to come ready to offer their ideas on Friday, to discuss them in small groups with colleagues, and to bring forward recommendations that the task force can use in drafting a preliminary action plan. It’s time for us to try to do something to remedy the issues raised in the report, rather than just continuing to talk about our problems.”

An important part of the community’s job in this town meeting will be to decide what is most important to conquer first. Overall, the results were not what was expected and “disheartening” according to Maxey. There were fifteen survey categories and, in all the categories, the University of Wyoming fell considerably lower than other Carnegie Research institutions that participated.

Pride, Morale, Respect, and Appreciation; Compensation; Resources and Staffing; Senior Leadership; Communication; Decision Making and Shared Governance; and Systems Implementation were all themes that emerged as concerns from the data. The report goes into more detail about these themes specifically why they were not satisfactory.

“The survey has offered findings about key areas of concern that we can react to as a community,” stated Maxey. “The survey surfaced some critical issues that we need to address so that our employees can feel that they’re valued members of the community—and that they have what they need to continue making the University of Wyoming a great place for us to all live and learn together. There are some real points of tension exposed by the survey. As we come to understand them better, we will be better equipped to take them on.”

This survey gave the view of 57% of the UW workers. In the next survey, planned to be administered in the spring of 2020, the task force hopes to have more faculty, staff and employe participation. Hopefully, this will be enough time to address some prevalent issues and receive better results from the UW workforce.

“All of the things that give us common purpose here—that make us proud to be a part of UW—should be the very reasons that we come together to get this right,” said Maxey.

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