Staff Engagement in the University Community
The University of Minnesota has a President's Emerging Leaders (PEL) program that each year chooses about thirty of our top Professional/Academic, Civil Service, and bargaining unit staff to work on five projects of U-wide importance under the sponsorship of U administrators. This year I've been privileged to work with such a group, with co-sponsor Carol Carrier, our Vice President of Human Resources, on "Staff Engagement in the University Community".
The rationale for the project is that staff represent a large proportion of our University community of 80,000 members, and have been major contributors to the Council on Public Engagement. Assessment is needed of staff attitudes toward public engagement, best practices that exist around staff engagement, and recommendations to increase staff engagement both inside and outside the University. The objectives of the project are to determine
- What are the most effective ways to increase staff members' sense of the University as a community in which all members are collectively involved in issues important to the institution?
- What are the most effective ways to engage staff in meaningful outreach activities with the broader community in order for them to participate as more active citizens and representatives of the land grant institution of the state of Minnesota?
The project, along with four others, was reported to the University of Minnesota Regents at their June meeting, and was presented in a poster session. For more information on this and the other PEL projects see the Office of Human Resources web site
Staff are such an important part of this and all other universities, so all our lives will be better and our institutions will be better able to serve society if they are fully engaged in our university communities.