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Total Organizational Health Update

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read this important message about Total Organizational Health, part of our ongoing efforts to create an even better working environment for the faculty and staff at UTC.  This is one key part of our approach to protect and improve UTC employees’ health, safety, and well-being. 

We each have important roles in achieving the mission of UTC.  As Chancellor, I have the responsibility for leading and overseeing our university as it is now and helping us adapt and change for the better.  I am thankful to be supported and assisted by an incredible group of divisional leaders we refer to as UTC’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT).  The ELT and I work with a talented group of other leaders, supervisors, managers, and department heads who keep our institution functioning smoothly. 

The strength of UTC comes not from any individual, but from every member of our staff, faculty, and administration working together to achieve our mission to be a driving force for achieving excellence by actively engaging students, faculty, and staff, embracing diversity and inclusion, inspiring positive change and enriching and sustaining our community. 

As you may know, over the past couple of years there has been a focused effort at UTC and throughout the UT system to understand and improve the work-related experiences and engagement of our staff and faculty.  Earlier this year, we marked an important transition from studying these matters to actively working to improve them.  The UTC ELT has made it an institutional priority to identify and address opportunities to improve and sustain a culture of Total Organizational Health across our campus.  This means directing attention and resources to protecting and improving our employees’ health, safety, and well-being.

With the help of one of UTC’s own industrial, organizational, and occupational health psychology experts, Dr. Chris Cunningham, tremendous progress has been made this past spring by a task force focused on Total Organizational Health needs and opportunities for staff.

A steering committee is currently laying groundwork for a faculty-focused task force that will tackle faculty-specific challenges beginning in August.  The work of these task forces is already leading to many improvements and changes that directly and positively affect the health, safety, and well-being of UTC employees, and we are just getting started.  A few clear examples are the recently announced increase to UTC’s minimum wage, the expansion of our summer flex-time offerings, multiple recent and upcoming employee appreciation events, and the push to hire a dedicated ombudsperson to serve as a voice and resource to all employees across campus.

As this Total Organizational Health initiative continues, it is essential that we carefully monitor its impact.  We can do this to some extent with university-level data pertaining to employment (for example, data regarding hiring, promotions, etc.) but to really ensure we are moving in the right direction, we need direct input from our employees.  As a result, in addition to our ongoing UT surveys, we plan to conduct two UTC-specific progress checks/surveys, one in the fall and one in the spring semester.  These two UTC-specific surveys will provide a combination of process and outcome-related data that will inform the continued work of our staff and faculty task forces.  

Please note the upcoming opportunities you will have to share your perspectives about these matters over the next 12 months:

  • July 18 – Aug 1: Great Places to Work survey (system distributes to a random sample of staff and faculty employees across all UT campuses – look for announcement from President Boyd)
  • September 15 – October 1: McLean survey (for staff employees)
  • November 6 – 15: UTC Total Organizational Health progress check (for all UTC employees)
  • Late February 2023: COACHE survey (for faculty employees)
  • April 8 – 17: UTC Total Organizational Health progress check (for all UTC employees)

Although I have listed numerous surveys, they do not all apply to every UTC employee.  Some are faculty specific, some staff specific, and others are for both faculty and staff.  Every UTC employee will have multiple opportunities to provide feedback and information to help us improve and protect the health, safety, and well-being of our campus community.  

In summary, UTC has two dedicated task forces in place, one focusing on staff and the other on faculty.  The information you will share in the upcoming surveys will be anonymous and reviewed so every voice will be heard.  This can only happen if everyone takes the time to respond honestly and completely when these evaluation opportunities arise.

In advance, thank you for participating in these ongoing efforts to build a truly great place to work and a truly resilient UTC.  If you have any questions about our Total Organizational Health initiative, please contact Dr. Cunningham directly (chris-cunningham@utc.edu or x4264).


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