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UW Strategic Improvement Working Group Sets Its Agenda

June 17, 2019

The University of Wyoming committee formed in response to UW’s “Great Colleges to Work For” campus climate survey has identified a number of specific issues it aims to address in coming months.

The 12-member Strategic Improvement Working Group is working with stakeholders across campus on several improvement plans in four general areas assigned to four subgroups: staff relations; decision making, shared governance and faculty relations; resource and position management; and administrative systems and business processes.

“The four subgroups have great plans for improving UW on many levels,” says engineering Professor Michael Barker, who chairs the Strategic Improvement Working Group. “We will need the help of and input from administrators, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees to discuss, negotiate and compromise on the proposed strategies for improvement implementation.”

Here are the highest-priority substantive effort improvement strategies for each group:

-- Staff relations: training and professional development. The subgroup is working with Staff Senate and the administration to encourage and support staff training and professional development through opportunities, resources and release time.

-- Decision making, shared governance and faculty relations: shared governance framework and implementation. The subgroup is working with Faculty Senate and the Office of Academic Affairs to assess, define and develop policy for best-practice shared governance at UW.

-- Resources and position management. The subgroup is working with Staff Senate, the administration and colleges to assess the effectiveness of current and alternative staffing models; staff roles and responsibilities structure; and centralized staffing.

-- Administrative systems and business processes: human resources hiring process and practice. The subgroup is working with Human Resources, the administration and staff to assess current practice and implement operational and procedural improvements for hiring faculty, staff, graduate assistants and student employees. 

The overall working group meets monthly, with subgroups meeting every other week. It has three general categories for recommended improvement plans: “low-hanging fruit” for immediate action; straightforward changes that should and can be implemented; and substantive, complex and intricate improvements requiring significant effort.

The Strategic Improvement Working Group continues its efforts through the summer and over the next academic year, and will report regularly to campus on specific improvement efforts, progress and success.

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