Campus Climate CommitteeCampus Climate Committee

An Open Letter to the UW-Green Bay Campus Community

Dear Colleagues;

Hopefully by now you feel established in the new academic year. In the spirit of improving communication on our campus, those of us on the newly formed Campus Climate Committee believed that this would be a good time to inform you of the activities of our committee during this past summer and our plans for the coming year.

During the Spring, 2004 semester, the Campus Climate Committee (CCC) was proposed by the University Committee to the Faculty Senate to help improve the climate for all employees at UW-Green Bay. The original charge to the committee was to

“a. consider the various mechanisms for improving climate, as well as assisting individuals;

  • pilot those that are feasible over a year’s time;
  • evaluate the results;
  • and report back to the Senate.”

Once it was approved by the Committee on Committees and Nominations, the University Committee appointed Lucy Arendt, Lecturer, Business Administration; Anne Buttke, Director, University Union; William Laatsch, Professor, Urban and Regional Studies; Illene Noppe, Professor, Human Development; Robert Skorczewski, Coordinator, Credit Outreach and Director of the Downtown Learning Center; and Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Studies to the CCC. Illene Noppe was elected Chair during the first meeting on May 21, 2004. Thus far, the CCC has met nine times since the beginning of this summer, including a meeting with Chancellor Shepard and Provost Hammersmith on July 13, 2004. The CCC has accomplished the following to date:

  • We agreed that the Campus Climate Committee should include a representative from Classified and Unrepresented staff. Mary Ann Rose, Program Assistant, Counseling and Health Center, graciously agreed to attend our meetings as a guest. The University Committee approved the change in Campus Climate Committee membership on September 9, 2004.
  • The members of the Campus Climate Committee were unanimous in their desire to focus on actionable changes during our year of tenure. We are committed to focusing on realistic change that will hopefully make a contribution to a positive campus climate. We realize that we have a short time frame to work with, but solidly believe that the creation of yet another committee would only be justifiable if we can truly effect change.
  • We agreed that a positive campus climate that engenders good morale only is feasible if the entire campus community (i.e., students, faculty, classified staff, nonclassified staff, and administration) is involved. This certainly is in keeping with the spirit of UW-Green Bay as it was originally designed.
  • We began our meetings by delimiting the essential elements of a positive campus climate. The CCC identified the six key elements as:
  • Respect
  • Communication
  • Shared Experiences and Values
  • Support
  • Trust
  • Recognition

The CCC also specified that the unit of analysis will be campus wide, rather than dyadic or at the department level. Thus, in its year of existence, the CCC will not focus upon mechanisms of grievance resolution, but rather be involved in building a positive relationship environment for all members of the campus community. The mission of the CCC was therefore identified as:

Promote a positive relationship environment through a mutually shared vision, where people in the UW-Green Bay campus community can develop both professionally and personally, feel like they have a valued role in the functioning of the University, respect the roles of their colleagues, and feel recognized for their actions.

  • At each meeting, one of the elements of a positive campus climate has been discussed. The discussions involved identification of what are the needs, what presently is lacking on our campus, and what could be done to improve the specific target issue. Out of these deliberations, we will create an action plan that hopefully will bring some tangible results to our campus by the end of the Spring, 2005 semester. Although this action plan is still being formulated, we thus far have identified three areas that we would like to work on for the coming year:
  • We have discussed with Chancellor Shepard and Provost Hammersmith the need for a designated on-campus alternate to Ombudsperson Melissa Jackson when the Ombudsperson is unavailable because of her prior involvement in her capacity as University Counsel. The Chancellor and Provost have been very supportive of this idea, and currently are working to actualize it.
  • Fixing some of the gaps in campus communication and decision making processes could greatly enhance campus climate. As a first step, we will work to facilitate a study of campus communication patterns. Using our group as a starting point, we will issue a report to the campus community at the end of the semester about our progress to date. Additionally, Campus Climate Committee minutes and other pertinent information will be posted on the SOFAS web site.
  • A mature organization loses some of its shared vision if shared experiences are not accessible. Everyone on campus is woefully lacking in time to attend many of the wonderful on-campus activities and to have more opportunities to develop and engage in meaningful, productive shared experiences. The Campus Climate Committee will work with our current schedule to free up an all-campus time slot.
  • In addition to the above “grand” plans, our committee has enjoyed brainstorming many additional campus events for the coming year. For example, it is possible that a very tall mouse dishing out wine and cheese may appear sometime this year.

We are a very committed, active and involved committee. However, improving our campus climate ultimately rests on all of our shoulders. Thus, we welcome input from our colleagues and will likely be knocking on your door sometime during this year seeking your involvement. Please do not hesitate to contact any one of us, and please help us out as we try to make UW-Green Bay an institution that is sought out not only for its distinctive educational and scholarly programs, but also for its supportive work environment. Home Search Departments Students Faculty & Staff Library A to Z University of Wisconsin - Green Bay UW-Green Bay Phoenix