Many of our goals are established as a direct result of feedback provided by campus staff through CACSS’ town halls and other meetings. Ongoing goals include:
- To increase awareness of UC Irvine’s values (respect, intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitment, empathy, appreciation and fun).
- To facilitate conversation between staff and executive leadership conveying high priority issues such as supervision, summer quarter workload and career development.
- “Quarterly Question”: In addition to town hall meetings devoted to staff issues, CACSS is sponsoring an online initiative designed to post a “Quarterly Question” and solicit responses from staff across campus. We welcome your response to this question and other questions to be posted subsequently. Your input is valuable and will be used to inform CACSS as we relay concerns and ideas for improvement to the chancellor. Additionally, on a regular basis CACSS will host a forum to review the responses to the questions with participants, and to engage in dialogue that probes the questions a little more deeply. The feedback gathered at these forums also will be shared with the chancellor.
- Increasing staff awareness of CACSS
- Advocating for staff and staff programs
- Promoting opportunities for staff career and professional development
- Networking and collaborating with campus affinity groups in support of campus diversity efforts
- Collaborating with the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion
- Expanding the content of the CACSS website
Town Halls and Outreach
- Staff Voter Registration: CACSS sponsored a table at the Aug. 30, 2012, Staff Appreciation Picnic in Aldrich Park.
- Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Diversity held Aug. 15, 2012. At this recent town hall, Chancellor Drake answered questions and shared his perspectives on the importance of diversity at UCI.
- Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement, May 2012. At this town hall, CACSS shared aggregate results from the February 2011 town hall as well as preliminary findings from the fall 2011 Staff Engagement Survey and facilitated a dialogue on steps the university and individual employees can take to increase staff engagement at UCI.
- Town Hall Dialogue on Staff Engagement, February 2011. CACSS was interested in hearing how UCI staff members feel about their work experiences, their level of institutional commitment, and how UCI can move forward to becoming the most desirable employer in the region. Feedback received at the Town Hall contributed to the development of the employee engagement survey.
- UC Advocacy Write-in, May 2011. CACSS and UCI Staff Assembly co-sponsored this event presented by UCI Community & Government Relations in response to a proposed (and enacted) state budget that called for a $500 million cut in university support for 2011-2012 – a cut that has significantly affected UC’s academic, research and public service mission. Advocacy information and write-in materials were provided, and attendees had the opportunity to write a personal letter to be hand-delivered to State Senator Tom Harman. The event netted more than 200 letters and postcards.
- Staff Diversity Town Hall Dialogue Series, 2009-2010. The objectives of the series were to underscore the university’s commitment to an inclusive culture, solicit input, and build a diversity community. Part I: Explore Efforts focused on the state of diversity at UC Irvine and solicited input from attendees. Part II: Build Community created an opportunity and was perhaps one of the first time that many of the staff diversity-related affinity groups gathered together in one setting. As a result of the dialogue, some of the affinity groups have been revived. At Part III: Advance Diversity, attended by more than 100 people, Chancellor Drake spoke about constructive efforts and programs that advance diversity. The town hall series culminated in a CACSS recommendation to create a campus-wide diversity committee, which dovetailed with UC President Yudof’s request that each UC campus form a Campus Climate Council; following which Chancellor Drake formed the UC Irvine Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture & Inclusion. Several CACSS members serve or have served on the Council, including Dean Vicki Ruiz (former CACSS Faculty Co-Chair) and Nikishna Polequaptewa (former CACSS Diversity Subcommittee Chair).
- Diversity Neighborhood Meeting, May 2007. CACSS was interested in hearing from staff about their experiences with and perceptions of diversity at UCI, the ways diversity and equal opportunity efforts are supported, and how CACSS could help improve these efforts. Input received indicated that staff is looking for communication, training and a consistent definition of diversity. An interesting byproduct of the meeting was the realization that many staff were unaware of the programs on campus and throughout UC that promote diversity. Subsequent to the neighborhood meeting, many developments have been made in the areas of diversity including the establishment of a Regents Diversity Workgroup and the UCI launch of a diversity resources web page. To support these efforts, CACSS formed the Diversity Subcommittee whose charge it is to continue the dialogue with staff and ensure issues of diversity are brought to the attention of the administration.
- CACSS Activities, 2005-2006. The work of the CACSS subcommittees resulted in a new CACSS website, with links to several campus resources; a proposal for a Leadership Academy to address the projected need for MSOs and assistant deans in the near future; two focus group meetings in the fall, one of which addressed misperceptions on advancement, the other, faculty-staff relations; a Career Development Forum in the fall; and two Neighborhood Meetings in the spring. These efforts were largely tied to the committee’s concern to find specific ways to address those recurrent issues that had surfaced over the past years since CACSS was first formed.
- CACSS Town Hall Meetings, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. CACSS teamed with UCI Staff Assembly to hold neighborhood meetings with staff who had less than 5 years, 5-15 years, and more than 15 years of service. CACSS was interested in hearing about what influenced these groups of staff to seek employment at UCI, what elements of their work encouraged them to stay and build their careers at UCI, and what UCI does well and can improve.
- CACSS Town Hall Meetings, 2002-2003. The first series of town hall meetings held throughout the campus – i.e., in Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, University Extension, Social Ecology, Administration, Student Services, Facilities Management, Housing (one with a Spanish language translator), and the School of Medicine – solicited input from staff regarding workplace conditions and to identify key issues that affect staff performance and morale, and assisted CACSS in developing its future initiatives and activities.
Staff Initiatives and Career/Professional Development
- The Strategic Summit on People Development, February 2008. CACSS provided support to this Human Resources initiative to create a strategic plan for professional and career development for staff on campus. More than 160 people from across the UCI campus and medical center convened to discuss the future of professional and career development.
- Alignment with Systemwide Staff Initiatives. In spring 2008, UC President Dynes established the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (Staff & Faculty) to address staff recruitment, retention, and promotion systemwide. UC Irvine appointed two representatives who participated in planning meetings. CACSS agreed to serve as a coordinating point for communication between the campus and the advisory committee. The initiative was an excellent vehicle to raise awareness about gender equity as it relates to staff women. The coordinating campus role of CACSS also extended to the UC Staff Diversity Council, which completed the first annual report on staff diversity in spring 2008.
- Family-Friendly Accommodation Policies. During 2007-2008, CACSS acted on input received from a staff member concerned about family accommodation policies related to staff who adopt, which did not allow for paid time off using accumulated sick leave. CACSS recommended that Human Resources investigate how other UC campuses address family accommodation for staff adopting children. New policy accommodates these parents.
- “Living Our Values Award.” During 2006-2007, CACSS engaged in neighborhood meetings on campus and at the medical center to focus on increasing awareness of UCI’s values of respect, intellectual curiosity, integrity, commitment, empathy, appreciation and fun. Following the neighborhood meetings, CACSS met with the chancellor to share the feedback received; that conversation led to the creation of the “Living Our Values” award.
- Career Development Programs, 2006-2007. CACSS partnered with Human Resources and Staff Assembly during 2006-2007 to provide career development programs to staff at all levels. These included the “My Career at UCI” site created by Human Resources which provides tools, resources and planning guides to help staff navigate their careers at UCI; the “Styles of Leadership” seminar attended by more than 250 managers and supervisors which provided an interactive opportunity for them to self-identify their preferred style of communication; and the “Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Workshop” for all staff which provided an interactive opportunity to help individuals identify a personal brand and how they can tap into their unique strengths to improve and advance their careers at UCI.
- Staff Appreciation, 2003-2004. At the request of the chancellor and the executive vice chancellor/provost, CACSS brainstormed ideas to reward staff in a year in which no regular merit or cost of living raises were received. CACSS recommended providing two extra paid days off for staff during the winter administrative break when they otherwise would have to use accumulated vacation leave or take time off without pay. This was seen as a benefit that would show appreciation for staff and not negatively impact the budget during difficult financial times. The recommendation was accepted and implemented.
- UCI brief 2002-2003. An early charge was to develop a more focused and easily comprehended communications effort to keep staff informed of activities related to budget and planning, as well as to promote a bigger picture of what the university is all about. Specifically, to help staff manage increasing amounts of information, the new internal communications publication uci.brief was rolled out in January 2003.