Taking the temperature of FGCU’s staff

Posted on November 16, 2011

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Allison Gagliardi

amgaglia@eagle.fgcu.edu

The climate at Florida Gulf Coast University took two years to record. Unlike the climate of the economy, faculty and staff at the university seem to be satisfied with their employment.

A campus climate survey is aimed to gauge how faculty and staff feel about working their working environment. Two years ago President Wilson Bradshaw formed a committee to gauge FGCU’s work atmosphere.

“It takes a lot of guts and integrity to say ‘let’s ask how people feel about working here,’” said Michele Yovanovich, dean of students and committee member.

The survey was optional for faculty to complete. It consisted of more than 100 questions, both quantitative and qualitative.

Committee members submitted the final recommendations of the survey to President Wilson Bradshaw in March.

According to the report 87.1 percent of faculty and staff are satisfied with their position and 78 percent are happy with the way their career has progressed since becoming an FGCU employee.

“We were overall happy with the results,” Yovanovich said.

All of the steps in between creating the survey and preparing the final results took more than two years to complete.

“It was a pretty neat process and very scientifically done,” Yovanovich said.

In the final recommendations the committee lists out suggestions for how to work toward solutions to some of the major themes that they were alerted too, including domestic partnerships, salaries and benefits.

While not all of these suggestions have been recognized, President Bradshaw has already begun working on making some of the recommendations a reality.

“Before the end of the semester, I will hold a University forum with faculty and staff in a setting similar to a town hall meeting,” he wrote to faculty and staff in an email.

The report defines campus as moving beyond the numbers. “It refers to the experience of individuals and groups on a campus—and the quality and extent of the interaction

between those various groups and individuals,” reads the report.

The committee individually read through all of the written comments.

“I think one of the cautions in looking at data is you can have a percentage of disgruntled staff who can go through and make numerous comments,” Yovanovich said.

Because the identity of the surveyor was kept confidential, faculty could take the survey more than once, although this was no recommended.

One of the most important components in getting accurate information is having an open committee of faculty, Yovanovich said.

“It was a neat committee because people were open and honest with each other. We spoke freely no one took attention to titles.”

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