Office of the Chancellor

2010-11 Annual Report

Section 1

2010-11 Annual Report

April 5, 2012
TO: Chancellor Michael Drake
RE: Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff

Established in 2001, the University of California, Irvine, Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff (CACSS) recently completed its 10th year. CACSS is charged with advocating for staff, promoting career development opportunities, mitigating problems, and creating a positive work environment.

The work and activities of CACSS for 2010-11 included the following:

  • February 16, 2011, Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement. CACSS was interested in hearing how UCI staff members feel about their work experiences, their level of institutional commitment, and how UCI can move forward to becoming the most desirable employer in the region. Feedback received at the Town Hall contributed to the development of the employee engagement survey.
  • March 23, 2011, Spring Leadership Seminar. Staffing a booth, CACSS representatives provided information and engaged seminar participants.
  • May 17 and 19, 2011, UC Advocacy Write-in. CACSS and UCI Staff Assembly co-sponsored this event presented by UCI Community and Government Relations in response to a proposed (and enacted) state budget that called for a $500 million cut in university support for 2011-12 – a cut that has significantly affected UC's academic mission, research mission, and public service mission. Advocacy information and write-in materials were provided, and attendees had the opportunity to write a personal letter to be hand-delivered to State Senator Tom Harman. The event netted more than 200 letters and post-cards.
  • Engagement with the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion. As the goals of the Council and CACSS overlap with regard to staff, David Bishop attended two council meetings in order to begin a dialogue and build a relationship of mutual support. Several CACSS members served on both, including Dean Vicki L. Ruiz (CACSS faculty co-chair), Nikishna Polequaptewa, and Deborah McWilliams (CACSS Diversity subcommittee chairs).
  • Subcommittees. This year's working subcommittees included: 1) Employee Development chaired by Nancy Chen Lane, (manager, Training & Development, Human Resources); 2) Staff Diversity first chaired by Nikishna Polequaptewa, (director, American Indian Resource Program, Center for Educational Partnerships), and then by Deborah McWilliams, (department administrator, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology); and 3) Staff Engagement Survey chaired by Gwen Kuhns Black, (associate director, Equal Opportunity & Diversity).
  • The Employee Development subcommittee continued its focus on drafting proposals to address CACSS identified existing and emerging employee concerns and to provide actions plan to address the top issues that arose from the UCI People Development Summit of 2008, as well as CACSS Town Hall Meetings. A full report of the subcommittee's work is attached.
  • Using the input gained from the February 16, 2011, Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement, the Staff Engagement Survey subcommittee began work on the survey, which will be shared with staff in 2011-12. David Bishop solicited input on the survey from the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion.
  • Affinity Groups. In response to CACSS Town Hall feedback from the previous year related to support of diversity affinity groups, OEOD offered to provide some administrative and financial support to these campus groups. OEOD created a Web page that lists an array of diversity affinity groups open to faculty and staff, as well as convening quarterly meetings with the leaders of these groups. OEOD also sent a notice to the campus announcing the availability of these diversity affinity groups and inviting interested faculty and staff to contact the designated representatives for more information.
  • CACSS website. The website was redesigned to complement the university's Web design. New content includes a spotlight area with a photo and headline that link to a feature story on a staff member, as well as a full slide show that includes recent accomplishments.
  • Membership. CACSS developed a plan to invite applications from staff members who wish to bring their interest, energy and commitment to staff issues, to help improve staff morale, and to make UC Irvine Orange County's employer of choice. The recruitment took place in fall 2011, with new members joining CACSS in January 2012.

Goals and Activities for 2011-12

CACSS has laid the groundwork for the following goals and activities. This list will evolve with the new faculty co-chair and new members joining the committee in January 2012.

  • Continue to increase staff's awareness of CACSS.
  • Continue to host Town Hall meetings throughout the year in order to engage with staff and provide feedback to the Chancellor on the "pulse" of the staff. Included in the list of planned topics stated below is a new series that will provide a forum for staff to share their valuable insights (the "Question of the Month" on the CACSS website).
    • Employee engagement survey
    • Employee development – work and life
    • Diversity
    • Town Hall with Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D.
    • "Question of the Month"
  • Continue to collaborate with the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion.
  • Continue to work with Affinity groups and support their diversity efforts.
  • Continue to promote opportunities for staff career development.
  • Develop a plan for a staff assistance donation program.
  • Release the Staff Engagement Survey.
  • Release the CACSS membership invitation.

Recommendations

Staff members have experienced enormous pressures as a result of previous and current year budget cuts. In an environment of reduced resources, staff reductions and unfilled positions, UCI staff are working harder and are more productive than ever in serving the growing number of students, in responding to changing staff-to-faculty ratio, and in contributing to the overall success of UC Irvine. CACSS has received feedback from staff about how much they appreciate your consistent recognition, appreciation, and support of their efforts. In that regard, we make the following recommendations:

  • Continue to address through multiple mediums the hard work and contributions of UCI staff during these challenging times.
  • Provide updates through multiple mediums on the budget situation so that staff may understand the fiscal state of UCI and its potential impact on their work.
  • As data becomes available from the staff engagement survey, provide input to CACSS regarding establishing goals that address their concerns.

We feel privileged to work with dedicated colleagues who care deeply about the status, welfare, and morale of UCI staff. We applaud and appreciate the value you place on the pivotal roles played by staff at UC Irvine. It has been an honor to serve as CACSS co-chairs.

Respectfully submitted,

Vicki Ruiz
CACSS Faculty Co-Chair 
Dean, School of Humanities
Professor, History, School of Humanities

David Bishop
CACSS Staff Co-Chair
Director, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center

Appendices

  1. Communications Report
  2. Employee Development Committee Report