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February 9, 1998

Managers take opportunity to give feedback to senior administrators

By Jim Burns

In a follow-up meeting last week to a first-of-its-kind convocation for campus unit managers and supervisors, participants stressed the importance of planning for the changes that UCSC faces in the new millennium--and keeping alive the communication channels that carry information about those changes.

More than two dozen presentations were made on Wednesday, February 4, to five members of the campus's newly formed Administrative Council (AC): Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Tanner (chair); Julia Armstrong-Zwart, assistant chancellor for Human Resources; Francisco Hernandez, vice chancellor for Student Affairs; Tom Vani, vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services; and Leslie Sunell, executive assistant to the chancellor. In addition to planning and communication, two other themes--the enhancement of "training and learning" efforts for employees and a call for a campuswide vision statement--were echoed in a large number of the presentations.

More than 200 people attended the first-ever retreat for UCSC managers, the half-day "Leadership Convocation," on January 13. At that meeting, informational presentations were made by Tanner, Armstrong-Zwart, Hernandez, Vani, budget director Karen Eckert, Millennium Committee cochair Marc Mangel, and social sciences dean Martin Chemers.

In the weeks between that meeting and the afternoon session on February 4, the assembly of managers and supervisors broke into teams to discuss specific challenges relating to five general themes:

In all, more than 50 managers, including the team members, participated in the February 4 meeting.

Gesna Clarke, assistant director of housing services, was one of the team leaders. From her perspective, the two half-day sessions--and the interactions in between with colleagues--were well worth the time and effort.

"I think the meetings were a magnificent opportunity for supervisors to connect with administrators in a very meaningful way," Clarke said. "People had an opportunity to receive both informative and useful information from the administrative side and to feed back information to administrators that is critical to the process of future planning."

Clarke said the experience was fruitful for another reason: "It provided us with an opportunity to sit down and explore issues with colleagues, people with whom we may have very infrequent contact. We work in different areas of the campus, but we also have much in common."

Linda Kittle, who chaired the planning team that developed the retreat, said organizers are developing a Web site that contains information presented by AC members on January 13 in addition to the managers' reports from the February 4 session. A target date for completion of the Web site is mid-February, she said.

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