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SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning


Posts: 37
Darren Chase 2022-03-21T18:00:02-04:00

3/11 Dialogue Session Notes, President's Office

March 11, 2022 Dialogue Session – Morale & Solidarity

  • The campus picnic and other opportunities for informal college-wide events are missed.
  • Can we offer more ways for faculty and students to interact casually outside of the classroom – the proposed mental health breaks with activities would be a good way to do this.
  • Support staff were not acknowledged in discussions about cross divisional collaboration. How can we better collaborate and recognize all employees who are working hard for the students and the college?
  • When working together – how can we expand our networks and not just go to the same people for help over and over?
  • A common hour for lunches, convivium and other events would be nice – time to gather where no classes or standing meetings are scheduled.
  • This can also help support a scholarly community – brown bag lunches with a different topic each month – reinforce life of the mind informally.
  • Can we help support a culture of yes? Let’s encourage one another to step out of our lanes and work together in ways we may not consider at first.
  • Change from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset – perhaps we don’t always have a lack of resources, but just resources that need to be moved around.
  • Humans are naturally risk averse, we need to support willingness to try new ideas. And those who try them!
  • We are often busy reacting, making decisions on the run because we don’t have time, not reflecting and planning. Can we create a culture where evaluation, and thoughtful planning are encouraged? Build in 15 minutes at the end of each day for this. Go from a deficit mindset to a proactive one.
  • The level of commitment people here have to the college, students and work is inspiring – part of the reason why people stay. But this can be contradictory because it is hard for us to recognize the work that everyone does.
  • We have a fundamental duty to value and respect everyone at the college and to help each other.  Do this by community appreciation, positive and constructive collaboration.
  • Hierarchies are real. Many people feel unequal – we need to recognize and address this.
  • Expertise and perspective are impacted by factors and forces we don’t always know about.  Let’s provide formal and informal ways to give and get feedback.
  • We all have important roles and everyone needs to feel seen and appreciated.
  • The dialogue sessions have been helpful – can tell employees are being listened to.  An environment where we make sure people know they can say what they need to say and are comfortable doing so.  Problems often stem from not feeling consulted or considered – this is where the feeling of getting told and not asked can stem from.
  • Important to not make assumptions and give the benefit of the doubt to colleagues.
  • Professional development opportunities are important, especially for young professionals or newcomers. If we can encourage and allow/fund opportunities to attend trainings, conferences, webinars, mentorships etc. It can help people know the college is invested in them and their success. This could help with employee retention and morale.  Even internal opportunities for training.  But external is also important so we get ideas beyond our bubble.
  • Modeling conduct is important. 
  • Perhaps evaluating the membership of college senate? It is really a UUP senate and we need better campus-wide representation and consultation.
  • Can we have other formal campus wide celebrations other than commencement?
  • Not everyone is privy to the scope and pressures certain people or positions are under.
  • Moving forward everyone who has contributed to these dialogues is helping inform the agenda that will be developed.

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