September 24, 2013
Dear Faculty and Staff,
As we move fully into the new academic year, I hope you are feeling ready and energized to undertake our important work together on behalf of the students of Seattle University. At the President’s Welcome last week, I talked about the many ways in which we are blessed as a university community and what brings cohesion to the work we do. I also encouraged us to name those challenges before us that require our special attention. For example, I mentioned some of the findings from our most recent faculty and staff survey, which was conducted in March.
There were many positive validations from the survey. Our response rate, in and of itself of 62 percent in this year’s survey speaks to how engaged we are as an academic community. In terms of the results themselves, faculty and staff, overall, are proud to work here, feel their roles match their talents and have good relationships with their supervisors. All of these are critical to advancing our shared mission and it is heartening to see such results.
At the same time, the survey results did reveal a lack of progress in some important areas. We have significant work still to do, for instance, in improving communications between senior leadership and faculty and staff, as well as strengthening our efforts in the area of shared governance and faculty and staff relations. I want you to know that the cabinet joins me in taking very seriously the results of the survey and that we will seek to do a better job of addressing areas that require additional attention.
Many of the survey’s findings vary from unit to unit, in some cases rather significantly. Therefore much of the work undertaken as we go forward will be tailored to the particular realities and needs of each college, school, or division. The leaders of these areas are sharing the survey results with their faculty and staff and will then work to create action plans that best address what needs to be done.
We have a special community of faculty and staff and a strong foundation on which to build a more professionally and personally rewarding workplace experience. I invite you to read the university-wide results of the survey using the link below and encourage you to provide feedback to your dean or division head as we continue this important work.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.