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UW Strategic Improvement Working Group Focuses on Concerns Raised by Campus Community

April 15, 2019

A University of Wyoming working group composed of administrators, faculty and staff has created four task groups in response to UW’s Great Colleges to Work for Task Force to address responses from a campuswide climate survey.

The 13-member Strategic Improvement Working Group has an important responsibility in facilitating the campus community’s response to the various concerns, working across the university and with specific divisions and offices, says Michael Barker, the group’s chair and a UW Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering professor.

Laura Shevling, Systems and Institutional Effectiveness director, is the associate chair of the working group.

For success, Barker says the task group needs participation from the entire campus -- staff, faculty, midlevel administrators, senior leadership and the Board of Trustees.

“This is our opportunity to improve campus relations, work satisfaction, communications and operations at the University of Wyoming,” he says.

The group will develop improvement recommendations; coordinate and oversee the implementation of response efforts; and maintain active communication with the university community to maintain transparency and keep the community informed about efforts and progress.

The UW Great Colleges to Work for Task Force recommended establishing a working group to facilitate the implementation of actionable improvement recommendations from the 2018 Great Colleges to Work For survey, town-hall meeting and online submission collection.

The Strategic Improvement Working Group, last week, targeted four task group areas to address issues raised through the survey. The task group titles and members are:

-- Staff Relations: Kristin Blevins (lead), Transit and Parking Services accountant; Barker; Jesse Begin, Human Resources training specialist; Crystal Bennett, Central Scheduling manager; and Milton Ontiveroz, Institutional Communications specialist.

-- Decision Making, Shared Governance and Faculty Relations: Adrienne Freng (lead), Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology head; Bob Sprague (co-lead), Department of Management and Marketing professor; Jim Ahern, associate vice president for graduate education; Barker; and Mindy Benson, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources dean.

-- Resources and Position Management: Jeff Miller (lead), Distance Education lecturer; Ahern; Megan Barber, College of Engineering and Applied Science business operations director; Begin; and Benson.

-- Administrative Systems and Business Processes: Shevling (lead); Barber (co-lead); Ahern; Blevins; Jo Chytka, Center for Advising and Career Services director; and Freng.

The group will be responsible for:

-- Facilitating the development and implementation of actionable improvement plans with responsible offices, synthesizing targeted opportunities for improvement as developed from recommendations collected from the Great Colleges survey and subsequent collections.

-- Coordinating a set of focused task groups composed of working group members and campus partners with positions and responsibilities in defined areas. The task groups will take on specific efforts, facilitating discussions and exchange with various stakeholders to ensure engagement to generate reasonable and actionable short-term and long-term improvement strategies.

-- Overseeing implementation of improvement strategies and monitoring progress and success.

-- Providing regular communication and reports to campus about ongoing efforts, progress on improvement strategies and improvements successfully implemented that impact the university community.

Chief of Staff Dan Maxey is the liaison to the President’s Office, and Board of Trustees member Macey Moore is the liaison to the board.

The working group will meet monthly, including over the summer.

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