1. Kim Seidl, Assistant to the Merrill Provost, Pottery Co-Op Coordinator; also anonymously submitted
My question relates to pay scales in comparison to other UC campuses. I saw a report on CNN the other night that said that the two most expensive places to live in the U.S. (based on housing costs) were Honolulu, Hawaii, and Santa Cruz, California.
While the overall cost of living in Santa Cruz is very high (second only to San Francisco), our salaries rank below that of our colleagues at many other UC campuses (e.g., San Diego, Davis, and Berkeley). As chancellor, what steps will you take to advocate for comparable employee compensation and salaries that reflect sensitively to the high cost of living in this community?
2. Submitted Anonymously
What competencies would you like the current staff to develop to meet the challenges of a somewhat tight budgetary time and the new technologies that impact workload?
3. The following are concerns voiced collectively by the African American Faculty & Staff Association:
4. Submitted Anonymously
I was drawn to work at UCSC because of its diversity and its attention to the damage that racism inflicts on individuals and societies. And, in fact, many staff here are committed to eliminating racism, promoting pluralism, and working toward collaboration and conciliation across race and ethnicity. Some staff, however, seem to feel a degree of anger and mistrust toward coworkers of different ethnic and racial backgrounds that limits productivity and promotes misunderstanding and conflict. Even more disturbing, some staff seem to advise students that people of ethnic and racial backgrounds different from theirs cannot be trusted to offer either good will or assistance. I don't want to dishonor any individual staffer's particular experiences or thinking around ethnicity and race, but I feel deeply concerned about how we are relating to each other as staff and how we are preparing students for a diverse world.
What more can be done to ease ethnic and racial conflict and polarization among staff members?
5. Submitted by the American Indian Staff and Faculty Association
At one of the post-209 general meetings, a faculty member stated that he felt that certain minority groups on campus would feel welcome and no sense of a "hostile environment towards their concerns." Chancellor Greenwood, how do you plan on educating faculty members to be aware and sensitive to the reality, concerns, and problems that students of color face on the UCSC campus?
The Chancellor's Commission on Prop. 209 met in May of this year for a general meeting before the open forum. During the meeting a faculty member expressed that UCSC was a welcoming place for students of color. He was then called on this comment about the reality of the situation here. The people who informed him that statement was untrue were from staff and students on the commission. Realizing that not all faculty are ignorant to the fact that this place is a hostile environment to some groups on campus, if they don't know or haven't been able to recognize the problem then they need to be informed. Our question is:
Are you aware that there are faculty that don't believe that UCSC has racial problems and that they think our image in the community among the people of color is favorable? How do you plan to inform and educate our faculty that we do have these problems and what they as professors can do to make this a better environment for the students?
6. Submitted Anonymously
I know that bureaucratic and academic workplaces are always challenging, but it seems to me that at UCSC we have somehow created a culture of exceptional meanness, at least in some work areas. I feel particularly concerned about how often coworkers openly shout at one another (or do not speak to each other at all), complaints are filed over issues that would be shrugged off in other workplaces, intensive mediation and conflict resolution are needed to maintain basic functioning in offices, grudges are held and vengeance is sought for extended periods, and angry staff reject direct, constructive criticism in favor of confrontation or hidden retaliation. As a result, many of us work in an atmosphere of anger and mistrust, feel scared to innovate or collaborate, sink into low morale or even hopelessness, and try to devote as little energy as possible to our jobs. Improvements in workload, salary, and benefits would clearly bring some changes for the better, but I suspect much more is needed to change our work culture.
What are your thoughts about how to heal what one of my colleagues has called the "bad medicine" on this campus?
7. Submitted Anonymously
Some university employees, including myself, fear reprisal should they express concern regarding salaries, benefits, or compensation. Observational data suggest that reprisals take the form of layoffs or threats of outsourcing. It is my opinion that the university has adopted a "Management by Intimidation" philosophy. Please respond to this comment.
8. Submitted Anonymously
Although the University of California professes not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, discrimination pervades the system. For example, lesbian couples with children are not eligible to live at Family Student Housing. Domestic partners of gays and lesbians are not eligible for benefits. Do you plan to speak up for more enlightened policy systemwide, and what do you plan to do to bring equity to this campus?
9. Maggie Collins, Service Center Coordinator
Given that we are facing two more years of budget cuts and growing student enrollments, how are you planning to fund the new initiatives without taking it out of the overextended, existing budgets?
10. Submitted Anonymously
Will this be a one-time only event, or can we count on you as chancellor to make yourself accessible to the concerns of the UCSC staff? What methods will you use to inform us of investigation, consideration, and/or decisions regarding the concerns that have been expressed today?
11. Submitted Anonymously
What is the evaluation process for unit managers?
There is the impression in my unit that the manager isn't being evaluated on any regular basis because we haven't been asked for feedback about our manager for several years.
12. Submitted Anonymously
What are the characteristics that you value in the staff?
What advice would you give to new staff about UCSC as a workplace and how to make a successful career here?
Do you have any tips on time management and keeping the big picture in mind?
Within these times of post-209 policies and constant labor disputes, how do you keep such a positive attitude? How did you learn to juggle such an ambitious schedule?
13. Heidi Renteria, Outreach Volunteers Coordinator, Admissions
Why should staff members have to pay for OPERS Rec Cards? Staffers who make use of the recreational facilities are less stressed and healthier, thus reducing both absences and health care costs. I think that FREE rec cards would be a very welcome and cost-effective benefit of working for UCSC.
14. David Holder, Physical Plant Lockshop
Why does the university force staff employees to use earned vacation leave, sick leave, comp time, or leave without pay at the campus holiday closure period? Can you quote any recent studies showing the cost/benefits of continuing with a campus closure? If there are any benefits, do the savings come from energy-cost savings or salary-cost savings?
15. Lark Letchworth, Natural Sciences Business Office
When will UCSC have a clearly stated plan and policy on smoking which provides smokers with designated smoking areas which are out of the weather, and provides nonsmokers with smoke-free access to the campus?
16. Submitted Anonymously
Tell us more about the interdisciplinary sciences building. When will it break ground? When will it be completed? When can we move in?
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