Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.76
Liaison Mark Klapatch
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
PA-12: Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Beth Schommer
Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
Chancellor's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a survey or other evaluation that allows for anonymous feedback to measure employee satisfaction and engagement during the previous three years?:
Yes

Percentage of employees (staff and faculty) assessed, directly or by representative sample (0-100):
100

A brief description of the institution’s methodology for evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement:

In February 2017, UW-River Falls conducted a survey of all 780 campus employees to gather input on the degree to which they have experienced a variety of discriminatory practices based on various identity categories such as gender, sexual orientation, race, age, job classification, and political views. The 293 UW-River Falls employees who responded to the climate survey seem to be a relatively representative slice of the university community. Slightly more than half the sample were women, most are heterosexuals and most are white. There is relatively equal numbers of respondents in the key age group categories and feedback came from employees with a wide
range of years of experience at UW-River Falls.

The goal was to assess the perceptions of our campus environment for learning, living, and working, and to better understand these individuals’ satisfaction with the UWRF experience.  

While the majority of the survey focuses on campus climate, there were aspects focusing on more broad employee satisfaction. As a follow up to the initial survey, UWRF administration and the Human Resources department also hired a consultant to come in and facilitate focus groups to vet out more of the employee satisfaction pieces of the survey. The focus groups were set up to be representative samples of campus employees so each session had the same number of academic staff, faculty, and university staff. These focus groups were held in February 2018.

The topics of the focus groups included concerns with professional respect, appreciation, value, compensation, lack of development opportunities, and over all perceptions of work at UWRF. The results of the focus groups will be shared with campus leadership later in 2018.


A brief description of the mechanism(s) by which the institution addresses issues raised by the evaluation (including examples from the previous three years):

The following have been identified as action areas to pursue during academic year 2017-18 in response to the spring 2017 Campus Climate Survey. The thematic areas of focus were defined by the working group which helped create the survey tool and additional input was provided at the Aug. 29, 2017, Campus Leadership Workshop. The final action areas were refined by the Chancellor’s Cabinet on Oct. 16, 2017. In demonstration of the importance of addressing these issues, $25,000 in one-time institutional funding was allocated in Round 2 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Budget Process to support the implementation of these actions.

Goal 1: Foster common understanding and common definitions of diversity and inclusivity, while also increasing individual and team intercultural competence. These actions will focus on developing community standards regarding intercultural competency and promoting cross-campus “ownership” of climate, which is not the responsibility of one office or person, rather is everyone’s duty.
• The Chancellor’s Office, in collaboration with Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs, will organize continued professional development related to intercultural competency. Already provided to a group of senior leaders, these development experiences will be expanded to a broader group of campus leadership, such as department chairs and program directors, and will also include student leaders.
• Institutional statements on the definition of diversity and inclusivity as well as the developmental-focused approach promoted through the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) inventory will be promoted campus wide.
• A group of faculty, staff and students will be trained Qualified Administrators in the IDI/ICS to further disseminate these tools to faculty, staff, and students.*
• Annual training and onboarding training in these areas should be considered to ensure sustainability of these efforts.

* Details of the training of IDI/ICS Qualified Administrators have not yet been explored and need to be further fleshed out.

Goal 2: Create a stronger culture of reporting on campus. These actions will address the clear lack of understanding/awareness that emerged from both student and employee respondents regarding how and where to report climate-related concerns or incidents.
• The Bias Education Response Team (BERT) will promote the new “Report it” Web page, created as a single point of entry for individuals wishing to report incidents or concerns.
o Summaries of what constitutes protected and non-protected speech, guidelines on academic freedom, information related to the UW System freedom of expression policy, etc. will be published on the institutional website to provide often needed clarification.
o Information regarding the Web page, as well as regarding freedom of speech and the related UWS policy will be provided during New Student Orientation.
• Simultaneously BERT, with support from University Communications and Marketing, will coordinate launch of a UWRF values promotional campaign that will include information about the importance of reporting actions or incidents that do not correspond with UWRF values.
o The values campaign/reporting process will also be shared during New Student Orientation and New Staff Orientation.

Goal 3: Reinforce institutional commitment to showing appreciation for the value of all employment categories. These actions will help us better understand and address the results of the study regarding perceived employment-category discrimination (IAS/tenure-track faculty, university staff/academic staff, etc.).
• Human Resources will convene a set of focus groups with shared governance groups and develop an action plan based on group discussions. A facilitator may be hired to support this process.
• Based on the action plan, employee category-specific programs that support our goal of better cross-communication, appreciation, and understanding between employee groups will be developed.
• Provide ongoing opportunities, such a dedicated annual SIE lunch, or other creative/innovative programs, where representatives of different employee categories can interact in positive ways to better cross-communicate the value and contributions of every role on campus.

Goal 4: Support faculty ability to address difficult or sensitive issues in the classroom. These actions will help ensure understanding of, and adherence to, prevailing guidelines on academic freedom (AAUP, UW System, etc.) by all faculty and IAS, and promote culture of faculty and instructor confidence in working effectively with differing viewpoints.
• Academic Affairs will schedule professional development opportunities for faculty around the broader topic of inclusivity, as well as specific to if, when and how sensitive topics should be addressed in the classroom.
o Academic Affairs will review AAUP standings on academic freedom and ensure that all instructors are aware of its entitlements, limitations, and obligations
o Professional development many also address the inherent difficulty faculty may have when teaching or discussing certain topics, and dealing with the assumptions students may consequently make.
o UW System legal may be invited to speak on these topics at a faculty development event, cabinet meeting, Leadership Assembly or other open forum.

Goal 5: Foster a culture of healthy argumentation and debate especially among students. These actions are aimed at supporting students ability to engage in appropriate, healthy dialogue on difficult topics; encouraging students to interact with others who may hold different opinions or come from different backgrounds; and modeling good debate practices, following rules of civil discourse and productive dialogue, focusing on evidence based arguments, etc.
• Student Affairs will lead a series of co-curricular programming (including through involvement of SGA, use of existing resources such as WRFW) that engages faculty and instructors, or in-house subject matter experts, in a well-moderated forum or open debate format on public policy and social issues. This series may include:
o Holding an event through the newly created Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation, coordinated at UWRF by Neil Kraus, where it is required to show both sides of an issue.
o Involving groups specialized in skits or dramatizations of appropriate and inappropriate ways to discuss difficult issues.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.