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Workplace Environment

Dear University of Maryland community:

This is a progress report on our ongoing efforts to nurture a more respectful, supportive, and inclusive workplace environment.

Last spring, upon the recommendation of the University Senate and its Staff Affairs Committee, I appointed an Interdivisional Work Group on Non-Exempt Staff.  It was co-chaired by Vice Presidents Linda Clement (Student Affairs) and Robert Specter (Administrative Affairs).  The charge was to identify better ways that our non-exempt staff can participate in shared governance, be recognized for their contributions, receive timely information, and understand how workplace disputes can be resolved.

This group worked through the summer.  Its final report will be available shortly.  Its recommendations go beyond the scope of those made earlier by a Human Resources panel in fall 2011.

There has been already substantial progress in implementing the HR panel's initial recommendations.  Specifically, we have:

--Started mandatory training for all supervisors in Facilities Management and Residential Facilities.  The training includes conflict resolution, effective communication, appreciation of cultural differences, and career development of their employees.

--Expanded the English-as-a-second language and computer training programs.  To date, over 60 non-exempt staff members have attended these classes and 50 additional staff members are enrolled for classes this fall.

--Designated several bilingual staff members to assist and serve non-English speaking employees.

--Expanded job promotion opportunities for non-exempt staff.

An account of this progress, and periodic updates, can be found here.

The Division of Administrative Affairs has hosted several "Open Dialogues" on ethical and responsible conduct in the workplace.  They have been well attended and there will be more conversations this fall.  Click here to read more.

Senior administrators have also reached out to and met with many non-exempt staff to listen to their concerns and help address them.

Our commitment to the well-being and success of all University employees is steadfast.  Thank you for your dedication and contributions which make possible the University of Maryland's continued ascendancy in excellence and impact.


Wallace D. Loh