One of the core values of UTC is: “students are the reason we exist.” I believe with equal conviction that our employees – all of our employees, regardless of role, category, rank, classification, or status – are the reason we succeed. Together we are the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Together we work as a team committed to providing an outstanding educational experience and serving our community. We are constantly striving to improve every aspect of our operation, and we need your input to chart our course forward. Your voice matters, and your experiences and insights inspire all of us.
Last fall the UT System partnered with McLean & Company to administer an engagement survey to all regular staff. I appreciate the strong response rate from our campus – thank you to those who participated. Our Executive Leadership Team (Vice Chancellors, Chief of Staff and Chancellor) are keenly interested in the results and insights this survey will provide. [You can access the PDF McLean & Company survey results here.] As might be expected, the results included some examples of things we are doing very well and also areas for improvement – opportunities for us to do better.
Please note that the McLean survey did not include faculty. A recent communication from Provost Hale to faculty members included a link to a survey intended to begin the process of assessing faculty engagement. In addition, we will soon have access to data related to the University’s recent participation in a regional “Best Places to Work” assessment. Summed together, these surveys will provide multiple layers of information for us to ensure every employee is engaged and clearly sees how they contribute to our success.
I’m writing today to thank you for your participation in this work and to underscore UTC’s commitment to making this the best possible place for you to work and to feel professionally engaged and fulfilled. To that end, I have commissioned an ad hoc task force that includes the following individuals:
- Laure Pou (Assistant Vice Chancellor & UTC’s Human Resource Officer)
- Julie Brown (Director of Employee Relations)
- Lisa Burke-Smalley (Richard X. Zhang Endowed Professor in the Rollins College of Business)
- Chris Cunningham (UC Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology)
- David Steele (Chief of Staff)
The task force has met several times this semester to review currently available data and information to consider opportunities for meaningful growth. As more information is available, they will incorporate it into a more comprehensive view of employee engagement. I believe their work will make a real difference to our campus. The task force will review their findings and recommendations with the ELT and collaborate on developing actions steps as we move forward.
I will provide an update on our progress later this spring. In the meantime, thank you for all that you do and how you do it. It is a great privilege to serve our students and our community with such amazing colleagues.