Over the summer and fall of 2016, the University of Florida held a series of town halls and forums designed to gather reactions to the results of UF’s Faculty and Staff Climate Survey as well as to begin to identify action items and next steps. Faculty and staff were invited to review the high-level survey report and attend a forum and/or complete an online feedback form to share their thoughts. Suggestion boxes were also placed in areas throughout campus where employees might have less access to the online environment.
Based on these discussions and feedback received, the Climate Survey Working Group has identified three areas on which to focus along with associated action items that it will begin to address with campus stakeholders in the coming months:
- Identify and share best practices designed to create a more inclusive environment already in place at UF
- Launch a robust professional development program to address, among other topics: unconscious and implicit bias, micro-aggressions and affirmations, bullying and civility
- Increase staff members’ visibility on the university’s home page to highlight their accomplishments/contributions
- Map current jobs to a career framework to help identify how staff may advance at UF
- Introduce an aligned and contemporary approach to performance management that focuses on fostering high performance
- Expand the university’s ombuds program to include staff for improved problem-solving
- Introduce an onboarding process for leaders that conveys ways to model and encourage a respectful and inclusive environment
- Invite experts to help us learn from and explore conflict/mediation approaches used at other institutions
Additionally, another short-term priority identified through UFHR’s strategic planning process further supports feedback received from the climate survey and forum debriefs: Modernize UF’s leave program to be more responsive to faculty and staff needs. A UF cabinet-level work group also will soon be making recommendations about what type of organizational structure would be helpful to support diversity and inclusion.
As promised, the Office of Institutional Planning and Research has also created an online tool for colleges to review the data more closely than they were able to in the high-level report. The UF Climate Survey Tool is a companion to the UF Climate Survey full report. It has five parts following the structure of the survey. Open-ended questions are not shown.
Within each part of the tool, selections can be made through various filters; however, using multiple filters may show few results due to small respondent size. In many cases, employees also may have chosen not to identify where they worked, which will also limit the ability to draw conclusions at the college level. This tool is being tested now and will be released to campus on Feb. 8 via the President’s website.
The Climate Study Working Group anticipates announcing some additional action items in April based on colleges’ responses after looking more closely at the data. For more information about the Climate Initiative, please visit the Initiatives section of the UF President’s website.