President says next stage of work on campus culture is underway

Interim UO President Patrick Phillips sent the following message to the campus community Feb. 22:

Dear colleagues,

The University of Oregon is moving to the next phase of our work to improve our campus culture and foster a welcoming and respectful workplace environment.

You will remember, last year the university contracted with Gallup to conduct the IDEAL Climate Survey of UO Employees. The work was guided by the findings of the IDEAL Framework and the proposed roadmap for a fully inclusive and resilient campus. We released two rounds of university-wide results in June and November, and continued data analysis and university-wide action planning, including four working groups focused on engagement and onboarding; equity; faculty tenure, promotion and service; and reporting and antidiscrimination. These results showed we have a lot of work to do at both the university and unit levels to enhance inclusion, improve the employee experience, and ensure everyone feels as though they can achieve and succeed.

Our goal is to improve your work experiences—to ensure the University of Oregon is a wonderful place to teach, discover and serve—and to make this a place in which everyone feels valued and supported, and can achieve at the highest level. And we will do that through focused action and by creating a system of accountability throughout the institution built upon our expectations for improvement. Increasing our “climate survey scores” is not the goal per se, but if we continue to create the university that we aspire to be, then future climate survey data will be useful indicators of how our work is progressing.

We are now entering the next stage of data sharing, where vice presidents and deans will share unit-level data, and engage faculty, staff, and graduate student employees in discussions about how to enhance what is working and fix what is not. These initial discussions are the foundational aspects of action planning. My expectation is that these conversations will allow us to focus on what’s working, what needs improvement, and how to continue to make progress.

Before the end of spring term, expect to hear from the vice president or dean of your division, school, or college about their plans to share the results and conduct unit-level action planning. In spring term, or sooner, you will receive results applicable to the unit in which you work. You will have the opportunity to help shape ideas and solutions that help improve our campus culture. Everyone will be asked to participate in action planning.

Through summer, and next fall for our nine-month faculty, our action planning will continue and additional initiatives to make progress will be rolled out. This will be a continual process of work, improvement, assessment, and more work.  We are providing support for leaders and their teams to assist with unit-based discussion and action planning.

Additional information about this work and the four university-wide working groups will be updated on the President’s Office website.

Thank you for your commitment to the university and to this work to improve our campus culture.


Patrick Phillips
Interim President and Professor of Biology