Faculty & Staff - April 8, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share with you an overview of action taken to date in response to information learned from last year’s Employee Satisfaction Survey.

You may recall that there were a number of dimensions that were explored in the survey. The bullet points below are organized around some of those dimensions and detail what we have accomplished thus far. 

Collaboration and Transparency
• Associated with transparency, based on questions and concerns that came from Staff Conference regarding enrollment, Eduardo Prieto and I spent the majority of one of the Staff Conference meetings to answer specific questions and provide information regarding the challenges facing college/university recruitment and admissions.
• We invited faculty and staff from across campus in a variety of positions to participate in focus group discussions regarding information learned from the Employee Satisfaction Survey and to inform the development of a compensation philosophy as part of the Classification and Compensation Study (we also continue to update this section of the website as appropriate).
• We have changed the budget process, which now allows for more input during the budget building process and involves more employees at different levels in the budget request process. We are also providing quarterly budget reports to areas to provide the most current information and to allow people more information to help them manage the budgets in their respective areas. We hope these changes will address concerns that led to a lower rating on the survey regarding the level at which budget decisions are made.
• We are establishing a campus-wide committee to address the development and maintenance of various calendars that affect all Winthrop employees (such as the academic calendar, 5-year calendar, holiday calendar, etc.)
• We are currently reconstituting the university marketing team into a Marketing Advisory Council representing all areas of campus. This group will engage in high-level, university-wide marketing strategy discussion, heavily informed by current recruitment initiatives and goals.
• A cross-section of faculty and academic administrators met with all colleges and the library to solicit recommendations on ways to improve tenure and promotion processes. Action items related to the processes have been presented to Faculty Conference for review and subsequent vote. 

Professional Development and Training
• We are using the budget request process to evaluate the distribution of professional development and training funding across campus.
• We developed and recently opened the Center for Professional Excellence, which will provide better coordination and promotion of learning and development opportunities for Winthrop’s faculty, staff, administrators, and—as appropriate—student workers.

Pay and Benefits
• We continue work with our partner, Sibson, on the Classification and Compensation Study. At its conclusion, employees can expect a better understanding of how their individual pay and compensation compares to market data; how pay-related decisions are made at Winthrop; and how a multi-year plan will address pay inequities at Winthrop.
• Information was shared earlier on our new Employee Assistance Program that will provide employees with resources to address personal issues and work-related distractions that may interfere with well-being and work performance. 

I hope you find this update regarding our follow up efforts to the Employee Satisfaction Survey helpful. We are by no means finished with our work and are currently working on several other items, but wanted to report on what has been done. Thanks to all involved for working on these varied and important initiatives.