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Diversity & Climate

Implementation Team Report


Accountability and Recruitment/Retention



Link to Combined Team Roster


Link to Core Values Document



Originally developed as two separate Task Force Implementation Teams, the Accountability Team and the Recruitment/Retention Team have merged (as of mid-September, 2002). In merging the two teams into one, we acknowledge that one cannot address the issues of recruitment, retention, promotion, and development of women faculty, staff, and students at UWM without addressing accountability issues. We also acknowledge that, when addressing the issue of accountability and the climate for women on the UWM campus, one cannot avoid addressing recruitment, retention, promotion, and development issues.

When they began the work of implementing the recommendations made by the Task Force on the Climate for Women at UWM, both teams confronted the fact that the general climate at UWM, and the challenges specific to women at UWM, are clearly mired in the broad differences between actual practice and current policies and procedures. That is, both teams quickly concluded that UWM is not lacking sufficient and sound policies with regard to the recruitment, retention, promotion, and professional development of women at UWM. Unfortunately, both teams also quickly concluded that practice and procedure on this campus do not follow policy. Both teams quickly discovered that, on this campus, practice and procedure frequently are based on political efficacy rather than on policy.

The Recruitment and Retention Team concluded that lack of communication among campus units/schools/colleges/departments, lack of communication among colleagues, especially between supervisors and the workers who report to them, as well as the campus’s overall lack of an effective communication plan, all contribute to the breach (and resulting dissonance) which exists between policy and practice/procedure on this campus. The newly merged Accountability and Recruitment/Retention Team will continue to make communication, and the development of a comprehensive, multi-tiered communication plan, a priority.

The Accountability and Recruitment/Retention Team feels strongly about the need to build in accountability and align practices and procedures with long-standing policies. To do so effectively requires that individuals in top leadership positions be accountable to their colleagues, including those within their immediate supervisory purview, as well as those with whom they have ongoing working relationships outside of their immediate authority/department. To that end, the team has declared evaluations and the entire evaluation process at UWM to be another priority area. Currently, the team is working toward restructuring the evaluation process at UWM, at all levels, to make the process more inclusive, more meaningful, and the means through which to provide a voice to all staff and faculty on campus.

The Accountability and Recruitment/Retention Team also is recommending that accountability practices be linked directly to the UWM Mission Statement. Thus, the development of “core values” has become a third priority issue for the team. The core values will reflect our combined commitment to the success and improved climate of UWM.

As the Accountability and Recruitment/Retention Team continues to move forward, the Task Force recommendations will remain central to the work we do and the following findings of the Task Force will continue to act as our propelling force:

  • The overall climate for women on campus needs improvement, particularly as it relates to the devaluation of the contributions of women, their lack of power to evoke change, and numerous factors contributing to a hostile work environment for women.
  • Practice vs. policy is a key contributing factor to the problems faced by women on campus, particularly with regard to hiring, promotion, and retention practices which do not adhere to policy; lack of clearly defined plans for each employee’s personal development and retention; and, lack of recognition and exclusion from decision-making along with inequitable performance standards.
  • To improve the climate for women on campus, we need an organizational structure that responds appropriately and systematically, devoid of retaliation, to informal and formal complaints and grievances, and provides accountability measures to eliminate abuses by supervisors.
  • An improved climate for women on campus requires educational opportunities in under-represented areas, as well as professional resources and support services for women students that clearly improve the campus experience.

The Accountability and Recruitment/Retention Implementation Team welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact either Jean Salzer, jeano@uwm.edu, 229-5660, or Kathy Miller-Dillon, kmdillon@uwm.edu, 229-5382. Jean and Kathy are team co-leaders.