Chancellor Reddy reflects on the campus listening sessions 

I would like to start by saying thank you to the faculty, staff and students who joined me during the recent listening sessions. I appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with you at the four different listening sessions which were held across the campus and virtually. 

At the start of each session, I asked participants the following questions: What is going well? What are you worried about? What do I need to know that I don’t currently know? 

It was wonderful to hear what you appreciate about our campus community. You shared how we navigated successfully through COVID, rolled out initiatives such as flexible work schedules, no-meeting times on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, the weeklong winter break and feeling valued as members of the Mountain Lion community. 

I was also very interested to hear what concerns participants had. Some of the issues brought up during the sessions included: concerns about budget cuts and the impact on units, student recruitment and retention challenges, a desire for increased communication from Cabinet and Deans, a need for more appreciation between faculty and staff on workload issues, advancement opportunities for both faculty and staff, concerns with implementation of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, the practice of hiring new employees at higher salaries than existing employees, the need to add more technology to classrooms for easier hybrid teaching, student mental health, improved campus communication and they asked me to consider  offering Town Halls in hybrid format. 

These are all very important issues. As I shared at each session, my purpose behind hosting these events was to listen. But I don’t want the conversation to end there. It is important that we address the things you brought up.  

I have shared your feedback and concerns with the Cabinet so all of the Vice Chancellors can be involved in addressing these issues. We have a few new Vice Chancellors and other campus leaders who will bring new ideas to the table to help create needed culture shifts.  

Many of the topics that you brought up are already being addressed with various campus stakeholders. For example, our Human Resources office is working through issues related to the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and our new Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources is focused on our hiring process. The budget is a topic of discussion at every Cabinet meeting and the well-being of our students is always a priority. The entire Cabinet will continue to work with the appropriate people on the issues that were discussed, and will work to be more transparent with the decision-making process.

I want to close by saying thank you so much for taking the time to participate in these listening sessions and sharing so openly. I have always said that people are the greatest asset of any organization, and I’m grateful for everything you do. It’s obvious you care about this campus and our students, and I hope the campus can continue working toward solutions together.