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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Message to Staff on University Climate

November 3, 2016

Dear Pacific staff,

University of the Pacific's dedicated staff are at the heart of our success. Your commitment, outstanding work and steadfast focus on our students enhance the Pacific experience for every member of the university community. I am appreciative of your good work, and committed to enhancing staff development and engagement. The Board of Regents is also dedicated to our employees' well-being, as demonstrated by their recent decision to broaden the Board's Compensation Committee to a Human Resources Committee.

Last fall, I charged a group with analyzing the results of the three-city Climate Survey staff took in spring 2015. I express my gratitude to the Staff Survey Action Task Force: Tom Congrave, Sally Draper, John McClimans, Jennifer McGlothlin, Austin Ogan (who has since left the university), Marshea Pratt, Chris Sablynski, Barbara Shaw, E.Ann Sica and Zac Spurlin. Special thanks go to Becky Davis and Sondra Roeuny (who has since left the university) for their leadership as co-chairs. The inclusive process the task force used resulted in insightful feedback and thoughtful recommendations (see below) that we will use to improve and enhance the Pacific experience for our staff.

Last spring, the Staff Survey Action Task Force presented a draft report to several key groups, including the Staff Advisory Council, the President's Advisory Council and the Cabinet. The final Staff Survey Action Task Force Report, submitted at the end of the semester, has five major recommendations to enhance the Pacific experience for staff (in no particular order):

1. Build and foster an inclusive and transparent decision-making process;
2. Strengthen internal communication within each campus, and across the university;
3. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, forms, tools and resources;
4. Create a staff recognition and rewards program; and
5. Enhance programs, services, and policies to support staff's success.

I am committed to integrating Task Force report recommendations each year into the Institutional Priorities of the university. For 2016-17, the initiatives we will tackle as part of Priority Four: Support Faculty and Staff Development and Engagement focus on strengthening internal communication; increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our business practices; creating a staff recognition and rewards program; and enhancing programs, services, and policies to support staff success.

As I announced in August when I released the Institutional Priorities, this year we will:

  • Initiate a business transformation process beginning with a restructured payroll administration system;
  • Create a staff recognition and rewards program. (Dr. Barbara Shaw, Special Assistant to the President, is leading the effort this fall, working with the Staff Advisory Council, Human Resources, the University Ombuds and others to create a robust program);
  • Deliver a professional development session for all managers on the performance management framework to support employee success and accountability;
  • Complete faculty and staff compensation surveys and identify next steps; and
  • Improve internal communications with a refreshed plan to deliver timely information through a variety of channels and improve the user experience of Inside Pacific.

Several staff climate efforts overlap with our work to enhance diversity and inclusivity at Pacific:

  • Updating hiring processes for faculty and staff to support recruitment of diverse employees (see the updated Staff Hiring Guide);
  • Delivering recruiting, selection and hiring systems to support all search committees and hiring managers in their efforts to increase employee diversity; and
  • Delivering anti-bias and intercultural awareness training to faculty and staff across the University.

University leaders will be held accountable for ensuring the success of these initiatives.

I am pleased to report that a key initiative we undertook last year to enhance the Pacific experience for staff is going strong. Last January, after a robust training and communications campaign, we launched Pacific's three-city Flexible Work Time Policy. Greg Walters, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, will send out an update soon on the implementation of this policy.

As the Provost and I recently communicated, the university is working on a refresh of our Pacific 2020 strategic plan. The refresh is integral to Pacific's vision of becoming a leading university in California. Planning is underway now to review long-term goals and identify opportunities where Pacific can emerge well positioned for success. Staff engagement and the staff experience will be central. Five main priorities have emerged, one of which is "People, Culture and Infrastructure." Shelby Slaugenhaupt, chair of SAC, is a member of this priority's core team, and the Staff Survey Action Task Force's recommendations will be incorporated into the initiatives supporting this priority. Moreover, SAC will be engaged as a sounding board for all five priorities.

Achieving our mission and vision would be impossible without you. Thank you for participating in the Staff Climate Survey, and for giving feedback to the Staff Survey Action Task Force. We are working hard across the university to integrate your ideas. Regarding last year's Faculty Climate Survey (COACHE), the Provost's Office is currently finalizing a report on the associated findings, implementation activities and next steps, and hopes to release that report to the university community by the end of this semester.


Pam Eibeck