Climate Survey Results
FSW-FF created and distributed a climate survey to all full time faculty at the beginning of May. The survey was open for about a week with 100 faculty responding. The results of the survey were analyzed by the survey committee, and the survey report has been placed on the union website.
The results of the Climate Survey were quite revealing. A quick summary shows our faculty are satisfied with their jobs and the role they play within the college system. They enjoy carrying out their teaching responsibilities and have a great affection and respect for their students. They are moderately satisfied and appear to trust their immediate supervisors, especially the deans, but are very dissatisfied with the performance and attitude of the administration above the Dean level.
Specifically, faculty were satisfied with
- the work they are doing
- their students
- the way their career has progressed at FSW
- their portfolio evaluations
- the health insurance, tuition reimbursement and family leave policy
- technology in the classroom and in their officesSpecifically, faculty were concerned with faculty morale
Specifically, faculty were concerned with
- faculty morale
- administrative procedures
- communication between faculty and VPAA
- leadership of the academic unit
- confidence in senior management (VP and above)
- lack of shared governance
- decisions made by management without faculty input
- the direction the college is taking
- inadequate technology for campus meetings
43 faculty took time to write comments on the survey which showed certain patterns. Below are some excerpts from these comments:
Lack of respect for faculty was a common theme as indicated by these statements:
- “There is rampant disrespect for faculty and staff by the administration.”
- “The administration has no respect for faculty.”
- “I feel undervalued by the college.”
- “I do not feel that faculty are valued by the administration.”
- “Professionalism and scholarly intellectualism are not valued here.”
- “The academic unit does not seem to be functioning at a level where people feel valued and want to work for a common cause.”
- “The college does not respect the faculty at all.”
Another common theme relation to faculty’s perception of the senior administration.
- “Dr. Wright is oppressive.”
- “This is quite possibly the worst college administration of all time.”
- The administration makes horrible management decisions at the expense of education.”
- “The administration only seems to care about their financial compensation.”
- “The administration has created a climate of fear and retribution.”
- “The administration is generally a group of a group of egotistical, arrogant megalomaniacs.”
- “The VPAA is arrogant, oppressive, and condescending.”
- “I am happy with my job and the interactions I have with students; however, I am very discouraged by 95 percent of the decisions that come from building I.”
- “The new president has no interest in the faculty or academics.”
- “The VPAA has a “gotcha” mentality that he hands down to the deans.”
- “It is the worse college dean and associate dean that I have ever worked with. Their philosophy is “It is my way or the highway.”
- “I have never worked under a chief academic officer at any other institution who seemed to distrust his faculty more than Dr. Wright.”
- “They accept giant personal financial raises, like the president’s 28% increase last summer and won’t even agree to the faculty getting a cost of living increase.”
- “I have nothing but contempt for a president who accepts a 28% raise at the end of his second year, but will not support even a cost of living raise for faculty and staff.”
- “I think the President’s most recent raise was pretty unfortunately timed. There was a huge opportunity for political capital if he had declined even part of what was reported to be a 28% increase at a time when faculty and staff salaries have been stagnant.”
Shared Governance was another concern that was expressed in many comments.
- “Shared governance does not really exist at FSW.”
- “Changes are being made with no faculty input at times and that is affecting morale.”
- “To the administration, collective bargaining is some kind of a game where they can see how badly they can treat faculty.”
- “The process of shared governance and negotiation is absolutely laughable at this institution.”
- “No one asks for real faculty input on any issues; actions just occur and faculty read about them in the newspaper.”
Faculty morale and the integrity of the institution were also mentioned.
- “I feel my working environment is totally unethical.”
- “Morale is lower than ever.”
- “The decline in a positive spirit of team work for the good of the college has been dramatic in recent years.”
- “There is a lack of transparency that is similar to past administrations.”
- “I feel the overall climate intimidating.”
The recent salary negotiations and lack of a decent raise, elicited many comments relating to compensation.
- “The longer I am here, the less compensation I have earned.”
- “I need more pay and more job security.”
- “Administration could have prioritized giving faculty a more significant raise.”
- “Faculty have only gotten 1% raises or threatened with nothing.”
Although there were many comments relating to morale and intimidation, some of those comments also raised the issue of the “fear factor” that appears to be a lingering issue from the Walker administration. Not much has changed to make faculty feel free to exercise their first amendment rights.
- “The college does not promote an atmosphere where one can discuss important issues in on campus meetings without fear of possible retribution by some administrators.”
- “There is a director that has a history of bullying and at the current time, nothing is being done.”
- “Faculty are afraid to express opinions.”
- “A climate of fear has been established at the upper levels of academic administration and faculty feel they have no voice; if they express their voice they fear retaliation.”
These are just summaries of the major findings from the survey. Please take time to look at the entire 32 page report which shows all of the data relating to each question and lists all of the comments in their entirety.
Conclusion and Recommendations
From the climate survey results we can conclude that faculty are dedicated to their teaching responsibilities and their students, but they do not feel that they or their opinions are valued by the administration. The morale is low and the faculty do not feel comfortable expressing their discontent to the administration for fear of retaliation.
- Work with faculty senate to open a line of communication between the administration and faculty to deal with some of these issues.
- Strengthen the 2016 Collective Negotiations Agreement to eliminate some of the contractual issues that we have faced this year.
- Create an upward evaluation for chairs, deans, and senior level management so faculty can have a chance to express their perception of the way the college is being managed.
- Work with the academic technology committee to improve the problems pointed out regarding technology at the college
The entire report is posted below. Please take time to look it over, so you can view all of the results.