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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Engagement Survey Message from Chancellor Black

Dear Campus Community,

As you know, the University of Minnesota Duluth is in the early stages of a long-term effort to enhance the engagement of faculty and staff. The employee engagement initiative was launched across the University of Minnesota system in 2013 to support the University's commitment to meet its academic and research mission by creating workplaces that energize, empower, and enhance faculty and staff. Engagement profoundly shapes both the quality of the faculty and staff experience, as well as workplace outcomes. It impacts recruiting, retaining, and developing top talent, as well as collaboration and innovation. For individuals, it affects both resilience and wellbeing. One component of this work is an employee engagement survey, which has been administered to faculty and staff annually for the past two years.  For more information visit the University of Minnesota employee engagement website.  

While most of the questions are focused at the department or unit level, it is important for us to look at our overall campus results.  I have attached a copy of the overall UMD faculty and staff engagement survey results.  In the report you will see how each of the metrics compares to the 2013 result and how it compares to the entire university system.  

The survey captured a high level of engagement from faculty and staff in regards to meeting student needs and providing quality services.  For both faculty and staff, there is a high understanding of expected results and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Additionally, faculty report:
●    being student focused
●    having enough authority to do their jobs effectively
●    engaging in open and honest communication within their departments
Staff report:
●    providing quality service
●    feeling encouraged to be innovative to find efficiency
●    being treated with respect 

There are also areas of opportunity in regard to workload distribution, support for scholarly activity, eliminating barriers, professional development and survey follow-up. I am committed to working with my leadership team and others across campus to address and remedy these.

This is an important self-reflection process for the campus community and great feedback for me and the leadership team.  Throughout the course of the last couple years, we have worked together through various obstacles. That is clearly reflected in the survey results. However, I also see our campus community is highly motivated and dedicated.  Many of you go above and beyond your normal job responsibilities and your passion is evident.  Thank you.

After UMD received its results in March, each of the Vice Chancellors and unit directors (with 10 or more survey respondents) was provided the reports for their units.  They have and/or will continue to share and discuss those reports with their teams.  It will be up to each unit to customize and determine the best course of action, with a goal to utilize this information to strengthen engagement levels.

The University of Minnesota employee engagement website has a variety of tools, tips and resources to analyze the results and implement action plans.  As well, UMD staff from the Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity are available to meet with departments and offices to help interpret and take action on the survey results.  This fall, staff from the system Office of Human Resources will also be on campus to provide informational sessions.  We will keep you posted on those dates as they are arranged.

I hope that this insightful information will spark a wealth of constructive conversations that further your commitment to UMD and my administrative team’s commitment to you.  We have made great strides but can still do better.  This information prepares us to take that step and positively impact our work environment.  

Thank you again for all you do to advance UMD and to create an outstanding environment for our students, faculty, and staff.  


Lendley C. Black

Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.6535 (fax)
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