|Poor full-time faculty participation (More part-time than full-time faculty took the survey.)|
|2013: do employees respect Admin at IVC? Half agree, half disagree.|
Roquemore endeavors to put lipstick on this pig
¶ Earlier today, IVC President Glenn Roquemore sent an email to the college community, announcing the availability—to those who can access “Inside IVC”—of the latest “Employee Satisfaction Survey.” He wrote:
I am pleased to announce the availability of the results of the Fall 2013 Employee Satisfaction Survey. The Employee Satisfaction Survey has been administered every two years since 2009. The latest report (available here) provides the results of the 2013 Employee [sic] along with comparison data from the 2009 and 2011 surveys. With 218 responses, nearly half of all full-time employees responded to the 2013 survey by the end of the Fall 2013 semester.
Roquemore goes on to briefly characterize the results of the survey. (I’ll provide a report, summarizing those results in future. Obviously, if possible, you should read the report yourself.)
And then he focuses on the “communication” issue. As question 26 of the survey indicates, the Accreditor made a series of recommendations, including this:
“In order to improve, the team recommends that the college enhance communication among constituencies, especially those with supervisorial/
subordinate roles, regarding established procedures and decision making practices in a collegial manner.”
Today, Roquemore wrote:
A recent focus of the President’s office has been to improve communication with all campus constituencies. So, I read with great interest the results for the questions pertaining to communication. I saw that 53% felt that they were informed about what is happening in the President’s area and that 64% agree that the President regularly communicates with all constituencies. Also, 64% of respondents were content with the amount of information they received regarding major issues being addressed by the President. Sadly, however, 53% of respondents felt that the little effort is made to get the opinions and thinking of people who work here at IVC. So, while these survey results are not terrible, they clearly indicate that more work needs to be done to increase communication and to provide channels for all campus community members to communicate their thoughts, requests and suggestions.
Roquemore seems anxious to put his spin on one of the more damning elements of the survey: the “open responses and comments”:
In addition to the statistical information, I am reading the open responses and comments closely and making note of the sincere comments, both good and bad. I look forward to working with the campus community to improve in those areas that are noted by multiple respondents as being deficient. At the same time, I feel that some – albeit very few – of the comments are vestiges of old wounds and battles and as such are out-of-step with the current direction of the campus. While acknowledging the errors of the past is important, it is equally important to be optimistic about the direction that we are charting for the future as we correct for past errors. While it may be challenging or even disheartening to read some the more vituperative comments, it is important to realize that these are the opinions of our colleagues with whom we work every day, and that improving Irvine Valley College’s operations and ability to meet our mission includes recognizing all voices and opinions….
I include the full set of “verbatim response to open-ended questions” below. I urge you to judge for yourself how they might fairly be characterized.
APPENDIX C: VERBATIM RESPONSES TO OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS
Q26. … In your opinion, what specific things can the college do to improve communication about college decision-making processes?
1. The current directors/managers do not communicate with their staff other than to relay a message from A100. Their sole focus is making A100 happy and not at all concerned about supporting the teaching infrastructure or the point of this College's existence. Let alone care about their own staff's well-being or ability to perform their job efficiently. Staff is not provided information about much of anything. Example, the new LS building, nobody knows what the heck is going on or the schedule of anything. Now I understand A400 will be rebuilt or something and nobody has been involved in any way again. Do they ever learn?
3. As a fairly new employee, I do not have any comment at this time.
4. It's hard to have both sides of the coin: lots of communication and an efficient work place. Too many meetings keep things from being accomplished at some level. Maybe set up interest boards for people to discuss things that they are interested in? Send everyone through a course on communication skills so that they have a better understanding of the impact of their word?
5. I wish specific needs of every particular unit/department are noticed, discussed and addressed. We would like the Disctict/IVC Administration to be aware of the obstacles and concerns we are facing every day at our work place and would need to see more hands-on participation and support.
6. The tenure process needs to be monitored more closely to protect incoming teachers from being abused. Tenured professors need to still be checked, and their civility (or lack thereof) needs to be addressed. When one colleague is harassing or mistreating another colleague, it needs to be addressed by administration to maintain civility. Some teachers here have free reign to mistreat other teachers and staff members.
7. Actually pay attention to the efforts being made on both campuses. I believe so much of the hard work and talents of the faculty and staff are taken for granted by the administration. We want our campuses to be productive and positive environments. We want to feel proud of our schools and feel that we are contributing to the success of our students and their future. From my experiences, while a feigned attempt is made to get feedback from the campus communities, the concerns are rarely addressed, met with defensiveness when they are addressed, and the administration will continue to make the decision it wanted to make the entire time.
8. I have not seen any improvement in my area. There is lots of talk, no action at IVC and action should start at the top. It is almost like the children's story of the emperor has no clothes. Our manager does not meet with classified, and very seldom with the chair. Collegiality is word bounced around, not a practice/action used. It is a hierarchical society with classified at the bottom, not considered when major or even minor changes occur. We are the first point of contact with students and the community, and treated in a uncivil, disrespectful way in many cases. When a position becomes vacant, it is not filled soon enough, and in many cases not filled at all, or reduced in hours, or position. Case in point: Matriculation used to have 3 full time employees in 2012, now there is a substitute in the position. The atmosphere in Student Services is terrible, management is poor and in the end it affects the students. How can Matriculation function when there are not permanent employees? There are other areas on campus, but that is the most blatant.
9. I'm satisfied.
10. More interaction between the administration and faculty.
11. Monthly newsletter with updates regarding important projects as it relates to District, saddleback, IVC and ATEP. All information should be gathered in one place. There are too many e-mails when it comes out in parts. There should be a monthly newsletter as well of the new FT/PT hires with extensions for all campuses. Too many people are coming and going so people do not know how to connect.
12. More attention has been given to this important area. I'm pleased with the progress. I have nothing to suggest.
13. I see a lot of transparency in the shared governance system we have, and the modifications that have been made recently are giving faculty more investment. Honestly I believe this issue was a systemic, cultural issue at SOCCCD in the years before I arrived and a lot of that cultural baggage has continued with the people who were at IVC and other district areas during what seem to have been tumultuous years where communication and decision making was not collegial. I think the administration has made very meaningful and honest efforts to undo this damage in the last 5 years or so, but people remain impacted by these past events. Likely the accreditation team heard a lot about what had happened in the past when they visited because the problems with administration seem like they were very severe in the past (before I arrived at IVC). I think the changes in recent years have been very positive, speaking as a relatively new faculty member, regarding the role of administrators and their seriousness about shared governance and decision-making.
14. Although the college has attempted to broaden the scope of internal communication it has been hindered by what seems to be annual changes in the strategic planning and decision making process. As the rules change regularly, it has been difficult maintaining pace with information and how it is used to be a regular and routine part of the collegewide conversation.
15. I see a good effort to share information being made every day.
16. I would like to see all official presentations, meetings and forums posted online in video format for all employees to review via our website.
17. The college president's newsletters seem to me like public relations blurbs. They do not tell me, a teacher, what I want to know. I want to know about curriculum issues, local and statewide, allotment of OSH, scheduling, staffing, funding issues that affect my school and department, and I think that such crucial info would come from the VPI in an informational email--something like Top Down or Note to the Trench. I also would like to see regular info emails from the dean and from the chairs. Too often, these supervisors react to rather than prepare for.
18. For each decision identify the party(ies) (office, individual) that will be responsible for implementing and/or communicating the decision.
19. There is nothing like asking persons who do the work for their opinion or suggestions when processes/procedures are to be changed. The current overhaul of the summer 2014 scheduling process is a case in point. The schedulers have not been asked about the practicality, doability, or efficiency of what is being proposed. They have been assigned the role of observers who will be expected to clean up the mess that could have been avoided if feedback had been requested.
20. There are still a lot of times where decisions are made without the knowledge of others that are involved. There needs to be more communication between the administrators and their staff regarding changes or updates that directly affect the job of the staff.
21. Administration need to communicate with their staff about any procedures, policies or changes that are happening. The staff are the ones doing the work and often are not aware of these changes taking place and being discussed amongst Administrators.
22. Deans, administrators, and faculty need more time to do their essential jobs. Deans are constantly in meetings rather than spending time with faculty or reflecting on student and faculty needs. Instructors are using a larger and larger percentage of time validating what they are accomplishing rather than actually spending the time with students eencouraging success.
23. Eliminate the Kaplan school. They are a drain on resources, and a low-quality program
24. I think we should ask for everyone's opinions when decision making is in process. Voting is important and both part time and full-time employees should be able to vote.
25. Most communication is top down with minimal opportunities for input from classified staff under managers. This district has very intelligent and educated employees that can provide valuable input. As indicated some departments which are regulated by new mandates from the state operate without written procedures and polices working simply on verbal communication directed at meetings.
26. The entire decision making process needs to be speeded up.
27. There is a lack of communication.
28. I think the college does a great job in managing the cumbersome shared decision making process. The main problem with communication on campus is the rumor mill that still runs rampant...and most often with a negative tone. There should be in place with all and agree to agree to check facts, to go to the source, and to ensure that negative communication is minimized.
29. A revision of the manual and extensive work to make the committee structure more effective ae both very positive examples of the work completed.
30. Make managers manage, train them how to treat people in a civil manner, not to force a hierarchical model, rather a shared governance model. Teach managers to work as a team rather than the current uncivil model. There is a reason why BOT thought it important for IVC to have a civility statement - it's because leadership is uncivil. My manager doesn't care about the department, she is too busy attending meetings and making sure she is seen with community leaders and higher ups. We have not had a Classified meeting for 3 semesters, and she rarely meets with faculty. How to improve? Well if you really mean it, ask each classified person to have input in the evaluation of the manager. There should be a yearly vote of confidence or no confidence of each manager. But i wonder if the District has the courage to do so.
31. I cannot name any communication about college decisionmaking processes. I know that the Planning and Decisionmaking manual is being revised and that the strategic planning committee structure has been revised. No advertising/information sharing campus-wide has occurred about these changes. A call was put out for more faculty on some of the new committees. Some sort of ad/flyer should help explain the strategic planning process to people and explain what role these committees play. We need training and information on how to get things done around here.
32. Sending email surveys.
33. It is much better than 15 years ago.
34. The college really cannot enhance communication about decision making practices in a collegial manner without incriminating itself, because the decision making itself is not done in a collegial manner. The vice presidents and president make all the important decisions in a dictatorial, top-down manner behind closed doors. The shared governance structures are simply window dressing, paper facades to snow the state regulators and accreditation officials.
35. Little has been done
36. I am not familiar with any practice which the college has used in the past. I'm hesitant to make suggestions because I feel as if the outcome would not be sincere.
37. The biggest issue is budget and maintenance in our area. Kinesiology requires a lot of upkeep and most of our work is done when something breaks instead of maintaining facilities so they don't break. Our department also does not get our timelines met when we have put them on a schedule months in advance. Some budget issues also have been delayed because of poor understanding of our timelines and the need to have a regular maintenance schedule.
38. Professionalism and good choices for optimum student learning are often forgotten in administrators' egos and personal preferences.
39. The President and Administrators need to walk the campus and come into our offices in Student Services and spend time interacting with Classified Staff on the day-to-day operations to be more aware about what we do. Years ago we had a President and Vice President who did just that and the morale on campus was warm, positive, amazing! Some Classified staff feel that Administration is out of touch with what we do every day and decisions are arbitrary without our department needs and best interests in mind.
40. I think the answer here just open communication across all entities. Also, everyone has their role to play, however I think we need to play more as a team. And that takes strong leadership. I do not feel that Board members should not be looked upon any differently with regards to interactions to their interactions with staff. I applaud the classified and managers who stand up and take steps to correct and solve important issues. However, in my department, I have found that it is MUCH easier to keep your head down and not make you opinions too widely known.
41. I may not have been around long enough to really address this question, but impression at this point is that the college often solicits feedback, then totally disregards it. Since the participants are highly intelligent people, it's no surprise that they see through and are frustrated by this facade of having a voice. Both groups and individuals devote large amounts of valuable time into gathering and presenting information, with which the upper echelons seem to do absolutely nothing.
42. ***** at IVC is deceptive and manipulative. He pretends that his decisions (and almost all decisions are his) are based on objective data, but that is not true.
43. I think part-timers are often ignored in most matters that pertain to decision-making processes, which is ironic, considering they make up 75% of the faculty.
44. Require collegiality training. Increase opportunities for team building activities and events.
45. The college remains dysfunctional and will remain so as long as *****, *****, ***** and ***** are employed here. Most of the Academic Administration is useless and needs to go. The Dean corps is weak, afraid to try anything, not creative in problem solving and frankly mostly useless - it may not be all their fault though - since they apparently are beaten up regularly by their superiors. At least half of the classified leadership is as well useless. The ***** is useless. The communication from the President's Office is merely chatter for the sake of covering his rear end for the next accreditation. As long as people know their opinions will not be heard or valued and in many cases may be cause for backlash, they will not participate. The administration of this college does not have the respect of the employees. Neither frankly does the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of HR or frankly much of the Board of Trustees all of whom have been adequately informed of the low morale and frustration at IVC and yet they do nothing about it. They are each as culpable as anyone.
46. I need to make more of an effort to stay informed.
47. Communication doesn't really matter when the end decision is still not in the faculty and student body's best interests.
48. Be more transparent and support existing processes, do not try to step around them.
49. Incivility still exists on campus. Administration does not seem to care.
50. Survey faculty and staff about issues before enacting new policies and implementing new procedures. Make certain that constituencies are fully aware of changes prior to their implementation.
51. connect directly with faculty, not through reps or supervisors
52. The pedagogical needs of the students and the college mission are compromised by the need to make money. Our ability to focus on our work is derailed by constantly changing procedures and information. Lack of clarity coming from the state regarding new rules and regulations is creating an enormous amount of stress as we try to understand what is needed from us. Focus on productivity is killing our educational effectiveness. New rules regarding submission of reimbursements photocopy tracking and other budgetary procedures are giving the impression that we are not trusted and require a lot more energy and time out of our week.
53. The college has too many meetings. But most meetings are inefficient.
54. The communication process has satisfied my needs as it stands.
55. All groups participate on College-wide committees, task forces and work groups. Information is passed through different media sources: newsletters, staff meetings, senate meetings, councils, flyers, and emails. Improve: decision-making should be more inclusive, and people should have the opportunity to disagree without feeling they have to go along with what administration has submitted. Consensus is used, but there is no one who will raise their hand in opposition even if they do not support something, yet, there should be an opportunity to do just that.
56. Please explain why when a Resource Request is submitted on time, and is approved by the approvers necessary by May, does notification to the submitter of the request not go out until the end of October that the financial resources have been allocated to that submitters project? I understood that these requests were supposed to receive final approval by July so the funds can be appropriately utilized in a timely fashion.
57. The college administration talks and meets a lot about improving communication, but it is still not transparent. Case in point the director in Financial aid and Veterans area was removed from campus, and rather than say the interim director is..... - nothing was said. It made people speculate and talk. The president and the VPSS should have sent a joint email. Another case was when an unannounced event at the college that caused great difficulties as far as parking was not mentioned, we were just expected to just deal with it. A notice should have gone out so we could be prepared. There seems to be an attitude of not caring whether the employees know what is going on that may affect them. I do not believe the president and upper management realize what a low opinion the majority of the employees have of them. I hope it changes, but that can only come if we are treated better. Also IT services has gone down over the last few years. Equipment is old, printers don't work as well, repairs are often called in, but know one seems to care. It is really said that after all the meetings, civility statements and much salary funds wasted on meetings that it only gets worse.
59. Collaboration on projects, services and communication. Continue to provide opportunities for personnel at both institutions to work together and meet informally.
60. I have seen some attention to establish systemics of late. I wish I knew what to recommend.
61. Involve adjuncts more.
62. The college still needs to improve communication about budget issues. We seem to have processes, but they don't work, don't get completed, and we aren't aware of the status.
63. I find the degree of communication with my Dean is excellent. Emails work very well, and I am as informed as I wish to be.
64. Ongoing monthly one-on-one meetings between supervisor and employee to build trust and stay informed as to what is going on. This is also an opportunity to follow-up on projects and establish action items.
65. Class assignment guidelines for adjunct faculties should be openly informed.
66. Starting the IVC open forums each semester is a good start. To improve communication between Student Services and Instruction, the VPSS could start attending Academic Senate meetings as the VPI does. To improve communication about budgets, the deciding bodies should complete the resource request reviews before the Fall semester starts and announce the allocations of the requests then. We didn't find out until mid-November about some of our budget requests, and some requests have still not been responded to. To improve communication with Facilities issues and requests, the ticket system should be transparent like it is with IT (IVC IT does an excellent job, by the way). We should be able to see our open tickets and who they have been assigned to so that we can follow up as needed. Presently Facilities ticket requests are closed without us knowing or they languish without a person to contact for updates. Better communication and in a more collegial manner with Facilities is needed.
67. The President of the college should begin to be honest and open about college issues and decisions. Often, significant actions are taken but are left utterly unexplained.
68. I believe a great deal of work was done in the barriers groups and those initiatives are moving forward. I am satisfied that collegial communication is improving between the Colleges and District Services. Face-to-face communication is still the best form of communication. We have done a much better job of just talking with our colleagues. Let's continue down this path....we don't need more portals, emails, newsletters, etc. Let's just pick up the phone or have a coffee with one another.
69. I have been told what the process will be more than they used to.
70. More department meetings discussing this
71. Update the IVC planning and decision-making manual, which has been done.
72. There seems to be a lack of value placed on dissenting ideas. The college seems much less vibrant than it used to be. There is less healthy disagreement and the resulting improvements in the ways things are done. The movement from face-to-face or even telephone communication to forms sent into cyberspace has undermined our power to truly get things done. The notable exception is IVC IT. The staff there do a marvelous job of using the technology to help the faculty. It seems to me that the campus has lost its soul, and I am grieving.
73. I don't know. I've only been at IVC since August 2013.
74. During Classified Senate meetings we have discussed and voted on several key items such as Smoke Free Policy, BO 180 etc.
75. The college has an impressive infrastructure for the distribution of information. The President communicates regularly and effectively through several methods. Occasionally, some employees expect information on issues that are confidential HR issues and cite this as of evidence for the lack of communication. The best was to improve on communication is to share the wealth of information that is discussed in college and district committees.
76. need more transparency from high-level administrators.
77. I don't know what the college has done, and perhaps this is because I don't read everything that I get, or perhaps I don't get anything with this information.
78. The college decision-making processes are still not collegial; they are top-down. There is very little information that flows back to the admins/supervisors that has any effect on the decision. In fact, generally, the processes are set up to discourage this flow of information from constituencies appears, in many cases, to be discouraged either by the individuals or by the processes used. There is a great deal of this top-down, autocratic style that is a residual of the previous regime in the district and college.
79. Remove the red tape.
80. Somehow get around the Dean level. It takes too long for information to move up or down through the Deans. Are they so afraid of getting fired that they are frozen in place? Takes ages for anything to get through deans.
81. The president needs to make a genuine effort to spend time with faculty and hear their views and to be more involved in day-to-day campus life. IT needs to survey faculty about their needs. More events and meetings need to be scheduled at times that are not key teaching times.
82. The college publically advocates change and adherence to due process. In reality, they never do this; the President calls all the shots and does not consult.
83. Establish a true communication process where people can share their opinions. Create a process where opinions are not only heard but incorporated into the the process. Hold meetings when people can attend. Allow the students to have a newspaper. Communicate. Right now there is nothing but press releases. No one feels as if they can tall about what goes wrong.
84. The Deans and Directors have poor communications skill.
85. College wide forums have been good. I have not been able to attend but I notice that they are been held.
86. Fewer committees; We have too many committees doing repetitive or meaningless task. They give people a place to voice their complaints but little room to make effective decisions. When it all comes down to the presidents executive counsel anyway, why waste our time?
87. There should be meetings in which representatives from the different schools are present to help with decision-making that affects the entire school. Also, there should be more positions for full-time faculty members.
88. We have extensively reviewed and revised our Planning and Decision-Making Manual. To further improve, we can: 1. live up to what is written in the PDMM; 2. Stabilize or regularize our established processes so that figuring how things get done is not a moving target; and 3. Focus on rewarding good examples of collaborative decision-making and ensuring that bad behavior (e.g., mean-spirited or divisive gossip) is not condoned or rewarded.
89. Communication is terrible at IVC. Our manager doesn't bother to communicate, and she doesn't bother to ask us what is going on in our daily job duties. Problems are ignored, lack of staffing is ignored, as are my increased job duties, due to several areas not restaffed when people left, retired, were fired, or relocated. The bathrooms in student services are filthy, same dirt/trash on floor remains for weeks, until someone complains. Supplies are not regularly checked. The night facilities manager is busy talking on his cell phone, while bathrooms are unattended. No one ever, ever comes in during the day to clean ladies/men's bathrooms. It is a health hazard. Our VP never comes by to check how things are going, and Student Services management staff relationship is dysfunctional at best. Decision making practices in our area is that we are told what to do, if there is an issue, management doesn't bother to ask, but are quick to blame. There is an arrogant uncivil attitude of most managers toward classified staff. When even one person in our area is out sick, we all feel the pressure of that duty not done. When our manager is on vacation of 3 weeks, things seem to run better. We can save a ton of money if we took that salary and hired 4 classified staff members. My suggestion is that all the civility workshops have not worked, therefore if leadership can't change the atmosphere, then get rid of them. We need people in administration that actually care.
90. College decision-making processes are not as transparent as they could be; the APPEARANCE of communication is not the same as the actual acknowledgement of problems that need to be solved; input from staff, faculty, AND students on solutions; and a realignment of EVERYONE in a commitment toward those students whom we ALL serve.
91. The college has increased communication in the following manner: President's newsletter; emails from key leaders on campus be it from Academic Senate, Office of President, Instruction, or Student Services; and press releases. Even getting emails from Division committee members have increased in frequency and quality. Things to improve communication would be Administration reports. I know that we get a note from the President, but it could be helpful if faculty receive updates from Vice President of instruction, Student Service and reports from the Deans.
92. We get a lot of emails from the college and from the district, but not enough from the department about how the district policies and college decisions will affect our department.
93. College has intentional dialogue about specific and important issues in the shared governance group.
94. Let us participate
95. I think it would be important to put a strong emphasis on improving relations between classified, faculty and administration. There is a hierarchy at IVC which doesn't allow for very good relations between all of the positions. I believe that we would all have better partnerships and work better together as a team if the positions didn't feel so segregated.
96. Hire scrupulous, honest, fair, intelligent administrators who respect the contributions of their staff and whom are able to multi-task and articulate the goals of their unit and offer opportunities to qualified individuals to promote rather than show favoritism and opportunities for advancement to obsequious individuals that can barely perform the tasks of the job that they were originally hired to do.
97. Improve civility n respect. There is no regard for the classified staff. We are treated as inferior human beings. Except when accreditation comes due then we are used to make the college look good.
98. SharePoint and web site are critical communication tools to maintain, organize, and improve upon.
99. Follow the established timelines and make realistic deadlines so that we have sufficient time to accomplish the task.
100. The development of the SharePoint intranet site has been a valuable tool in enhancing communication. It does make agenda and minutes available for review. The organization of the site could be improved. Each site is organized slightly differently sometimes making finding discussions on specific topics difficult. The feedback on budget and funding strategies is not efficient or timely.
101. There is improved email messaging of important information. Open forums at the college level with the President.
102. You might consider putting out a concise handbook and going over it at various meetings. (If it already exists, send it out electronically every few months or whenever there is a significant change.)
103. From my perspective, nothing has changed.
104. The Decision Making Manual is drafted, which is a good thing. It may be helpful if there are more campus wide regular emails from the President and Senate Presidents to improve communication about college decision-making process.