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SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning

Posts: 26
Darren Chase 2022-03-21T17:58:20-04:00

3/10 Dialogue Session Notes, President's Office

March 10, 2022 Dialogue Session – Morale & Solidarity

  • Staff turnover or positions being vacated and not filled is an issue.  This is known and being addressed,  but how can that be better communicated?
  • The institution has spent a lot of time trying things, and not always sticking with them or seeing initiatives through.  Committees are formed with no outcome, no rationale for continuing or disbanding, work gets done and then ideas get shelved. This makes people feel like they are wasting their time when this happens.
  • Maybe we could have a more thoughtful process for consideration before a pilot or committee is started – reasons why or why not to move forward & plan for follow through. We’ve tried to re-create the wheel with different things over time.
  • Students get frustrated with lack of consistency related to new programs and initiatives.
  • We need a common goal to direct our work – clear outcomes.  And need to assess effectiveness.
  • Employees encouraged to connect more outside of work -related conversations. Community check-ins? People from all over campus can attend or check in with one another – could help employee retention.
  • Make it easier to feel part of the institution overall.
  • Administrative support is lacking and civil service exam is a barrier to getting good people into certain jobs on campus.
  • How can we make getting involved in committees and collaborating more accessible?  Some people are comfortable putting themselves out there and asking, but others may not be.  Joining groups has helped with connecting with people and the mutual appreciation of workload.
  • Are there ways we can also connect outside of committees?
  • The Teach-ins held earlier this academic year were helpful. Getting to know more about what each other does is helpful -hear it from the horse’s mouth.  Holding these during a pre-planned time helps with participation.
  • Could we capitalize on that with affinity forums? Mentoring, etc – professional development opportunities  in addition to departmental updates.
  • Classified employees need to be engaged more – we need to hear their voices. Members of this group often feel as though they aren’t welcome at the table or shouldn’t be there. We need to help lower the barrier – perceived and real.
  • Supervisors and leaders need to encourage or build in time for employees to go out and learn about different offices and areas on campus.
  • Grassroots efforts can grow into impactful initiatives – how can we support these home grown groups and projects to grow.
  • Some feel like decisions are made for them and not with them & don’t feel connected to the college.
  • We need to remember that we are all leaders in some way shape or form. Empower ourselves and each other that we can have a big impact no matter our title.
  • Perhaps a leadership academy or supervisor training for people who get promoted.
  • Employee orientation can help with big picture understanding for anyone in any position.
  • Informal moments of connection are helpful – the all campus picnic, coffee dates, etc. 
  • How can we celebrate the network of humans working on campus and our skills. There may be ways we can help our colleagues that may not be directly tied to our jobs.
  • We rely a lot on quantitative data and sometimes that can dampen morale.  Quantitative data doesn’t take into account bias, sampling issues, etc. and when used alone – leaving out the admittedly more time consuming, but equally as important qualitative data – it can cause things to seem worse than they are or totally impersonal because it removes the human element.
  • How can we use stories to help make decisions?
  • When decisions are made can we ensure all constituencies are represented and think about how the decision impacts everyone on campus.
  • We do a lot of spotlights on student success, can we do the same for faculty and staff achievements? Ie: scholarly work done by faculty is significant but not talked about, especially promoted externally as part of the Oneonta story.


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