MU ALERT ISSUED

Issue 5 - Winter 2015

GREAT COLLEGES TASK FORCE UPDATE

Before 2015 closes, I want to report back to you with an update on our ongoing efforts to enhance the collective quality of work life at Marymount University. Improving job satisfaction and the life-work balance of our MU team is a priority for me, the administration and board of trustees. It is, in fact, a clearly defined goal of the Marymount Strategic Plan.

As you’ll recall, based on Chronicle of Higher Education Annual Great Colleges to Work For survey results (2014 survey results may be accessed on the faculty and staff homepage of the Marymount portal) and our own survey data of the quality of workplace satisfaction, an internal quality of work life task force formulated an action plan to improve critical areas in which you identified shortcomings. (The task force project plan may be accessed on the faculty and staff homepage of the Marymount portal.) We have heard and understand your concerns and are committed to being transparent, responsive, and working to address them in the most effective manner possible. We are determined to significantly improve in these and every key area that influences Marymount’s work environment and culture.

Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

Document and strengthen internal processes

Requirement:

Develop the role of Staff Council as a communications vehicle for staff.

Action to date:

Staff Council
Even before the surveys were conducted, we addressed the vacuum of an official forum for engagement of University staff by creating a counterpart Staff Council to the Faculty Council. In response to the Task Force plan, we have developed a clear charge and responsibility for the Staff Council as a communication vehicle for staff. We greatly appreciate Michael Anuszkiewicz and his predecessors for strengthening the role of the Staff Council.  

Foster greater engagement in the life of the University

Requirement:

Develop joint Faculty and Staff meetings and foster greater Faculty and Staff Councils’ collaboration to open the pathway for communication and shared governance.

Action to date:

Joint Faculty, Staff and SGA Council Meeting with University President
We have established one “all University” meeting each semester that focuses on topical brainstorming and collaboration.

A Faculty Council, Staff Council and SGA leadership meeting has been established to foster communication between groups and share ideas.

Action to date:

Campus-Wide Town Hall Sessions
We hosted town hall sessions during the fall of 2015 to offer an open forum for faculty and staff to ask questions, discuss and offer input about the University budget. Two date/time options within one week were offered to accommodate more faculty and staff schedules.
 

Promote greater professional accountability

Requirement:

Develop a new Performance Management System that promotes Marymount values, includes service quality and climate, addresses disrespectful comments and behavior, offers models of professionalism, and a financial incentive for exceptional performance.

Action to date:

Performance Management System
A new performance evaluation tool for staff is being implemented that articulates Marymount standards and revises the review process to include professionalism and civility. This more robust pay-for-performance management system evaluates and rewards performance, tying it back into outcomes and cash and non-cash recognition. More work needs to be done but the instrument has been piloted and a timeline for rollout will soon be communicated. Thanks to the committee and Dr. Jeanne Matthews for their continued work on this project.  
 

Improve confidence in Marymount’s senior leadership

Requirement:

Establish regular extended cabinet meetings.

Action to date:

Extended Cabinet Meetings
We have more clearly defined the membership of the extended cabinet and established regular extended cabinet meetings with defined expectations for decision-making and communication with staff. Topics this semester have included budget, enrollment action plan, housing action plan and our reaccreditation efforts.

Formalize communications mechanisms and structures to staff and faculty

Requirement:

Publish a biweekly faculty and staff newsletter to share information, such as new hires, employee achievements and personal announcements. Better communicate campus internal events to all audiences as well as to those open to the public.

Action to date:

MuComMUnicator
We debuted an online monthly newsletter with an October 2015 issue specifically for staff and faculty to highlight major events, announce new hires, employee transitions and accomplishments.

Campus Events Calendar
The marymount.edu website official Calendar organizes and promotes all internal campus events as well as those open to the public. The homepage updates daily with a snapshot of an upcoming event that directs to the calendar.

Presidential Perspectives
A Presidential Perspectives column covering key areas that impact the overall direction of the University was created and has been published online since Spring 2013.

HR Newsletter
Staff and faculty may subscribe to the MU Human Resources Newsletter to keep informed about relevant Human Resources issues and information.

Document and strengthen internal processes

Requirement:

Develop a complete e-concierge to lessen user frustration and provide a central knowledge base.

Action to date:

e-Concierge
We fully populated e-Concierge, MU’s central knowledge base, one-stop clearinghouse for the campus community. e-Concierge efficiently answers How-Do-I? questions and provides quick access to pertinent information for staff, faculty and students.

Requirement:

Require every unit to have a policies and practices manual.

Action to date:

MU Policies and Procedures Manual
We are currently in the process of finalizing university-wide policies and procedures to review current policies and address any policies that are out of date.

Recognize the achievements of faculty and staff

Requirement:

Develop regular employee recognition, such as awards recognizing Staff contributions to Marymount and Staff of the Month; free parking in The Lodge parking lot; peer-selected Staff of the Year.

Action to date:

Saints Make a Difference Staff Council Recognition and Awards
A Staff recognition and award function has been established with multiple awards to recognize outstanding staff contributions and services. Six employees were honored at the inaugural Saints Make a Difference Staff Council Awards luncheon August 24 with the Outstanding Leadership Award, Student Experience Commitment Award and Going the Extra Mile awards.
 

Foster greater engagement in the life of the University

Requirement:

Make a concerted effort to broaden staff participation in campus events in order to build a team environment and improve employee satisfaction and work/life balance.

Action to date:

MU Service Days and Campus Community Events
We are working to promote and broaden staff and faculty participation in campus service days (ex. Saints Serve Day) and University events (ex. Convocation/Homecoming/Halloween Fest/Finals Week Late Night Breakfast) to build a greater sense of community and a stronger team environment.

Requirement:

Give staff, faculty and administration spirit gear to wear on specific days identified as Spirit Days to build campus pride and recognition.

Action to date:

Marymount Pride Days (First Fridays)
We have established First Friday of each month as MU Pride (Spirit) Day, encouraging the entire campus to wear MU Blue spirit gear to build pride and enhance University recognition. Marymount’s Barnes and Noble Bookstore offered Faculty-Staff Appreciation Week in December, providing 20%-off discounts on all branded clothing and school spirit items.


We will have many more developments emerging from the task force project to share with you in the New Year. Many drivers of satisfaction are well within our control, and a pro-actively healthy, thriving, productive work climate requires our vigilant attention and care.

I hope every member of the Marymount team knows how deeply valued and appreciated they are for the professional and personal excellence they bring every day to our campus. It is the faculty and staff of this University who give life to our vision … who are the means by which we fulfill our mission to educate and care for our students as we make a difference in their lives and their futures.

Have a blessed and peaceful Christmas and Joyful New Year!
x