March 2007 Minutes

March 6, 20073:30 – 4:30 p.m.
CARR 104

Members Attending:
Dale Moore (Chair), Dr. Michelle Visio, Dr. Wes Scroggins, Teresa Steele, Sara Clark, Jana Estergard, Ladonna Hansen

Guest: Skip Phelps

The minutes of the February 27 meeting were read and approved. Sara Clark will post on the web.

Sara shared information on benchmark universities that indicated whether the institution had a work/life program in place. Only one university, University of Montana-Missoula, has a Work Life Council.

LaDonna mentioned that she has sent out e-mails requesting donations for prizes, but has not heard back from anyone as yet.

Skip Phelps was invited to the meeting to give input on topics that might be addressed in the faculty survey. She briefly looked over the draft version and the following comments were noted:

  • We might consider having a “not applicable” radio button for some questions, as they may not apply to every faculty member taking the survey.
  • She agreed that issues such as split tenure and dual career be asked, even though the current faculty may not use them.
  • Find a university that is a leader in the area of work/life issues and see what programs they have and what issues they are addressing
  • Should have separate questions for academic and other administrators concerning their work/life balance and their opinions. We must be aware that ultimately they will be the ones implementing these programs. (This can be done later as a focus group item)
  • She indicated that we need to be aware that these programs could be hard to implement. She noted that the University of Washington touted all of the programs they were going to have, to aid recruiting and retention, and they found out that they could not implement some of them.
  • Decentralization may play a key factor in the failure of implementing the programs.
  • Should consider working with the administrative team and getting their input.
  • After the surveys have been completed and compiled, we should think about just implementing 1 or 2 programs and focusing on doing those well.
  • Faculty senate executive board members could be invited to the Work-Life meeting just prior to sending out the survey to gain their input/approval.
  • Suggested looking up the Chronicle and Academe articles that have dealt with these issues.
  • Skip suggested have one combined survey with a fork that would be taken at a certain point depending on whether the respondent was faculty or staff. We should put as many common topics as possibly up front, and then fork on the specific areas.
  • Have open ended question at the end where the respondent can list the programs they would actually use. Sara commented that we could bring up the highly ranked items at the end and then have them mark the ones they would actually use.
  • We could ask if the item would be important for the university to have, then ask the respondent if they would personally use it, that way it would be possible to combine more items up front.
  • Skip indicated there might be a stigma attached to some programs, so while the respondent might think them important, would not use them.
  • Michelle indicated she has a ‘culture’ survey, and Skip commented that perhaps we should give that to the administrators, as they are the culture setters.
  • Skip suggested we re-write our Introduction to have a more “positive” tone. We should communicate the point that we are all the same and have same issues to address.
  • The committee should try to find specific items that are problematic for faculty, and one for staff that are visible.

Michelle indicated that she will re-work the order of the questions, and add questions to identify how important the item is for the university. She will also let the respondents know up front that some questions will apply to only faculty or only staff in the introduction. She will also add a not applicable option to the questions.

Next meeting: April 3, 2007 at 3:30 in Carrington 104.
Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Steele
Executive Assistant to the Associate Vice President