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Thursday, November 12, 2020

From the President

Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2020

Campus Culture, Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey: Update and Next Steps

As you know, the President’s Institutional Innovation Advisory Council (IIAC), in collaboration with ModernThink LLC, administered Buffalo State College’s Campus Culture and Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey in February of this year to better understand our collective workplace, campus culture, and employee engagement and satisfaction, and how these factors affect institutional performance. Today, we write to you to outline how the initial assessment data from the survey will be shared and how the IIAC will engage the campus community to help generate ideas for leveraging our strengths and addressing our challenges.

You may recall that the IIAC was appointed in November 2019 and charged with exploring how to best advance innovation on our campus. Specifically, the council was asked to make recommendations to the President’s Cabinet to help strengthen the foundation for Buffalo State, ignite innovation, and improve institutional performance. To begin this work, the council was asked to first assess campus strengths that can be leveraged and amplified, while also identifying challenges related to workforce agility and campus culture. The survey was designed to accomplish this.

It is important to note that the IIAC’s membership roster is composed of representatives from across campus, including from the College Senate. The work of the IIAC has been conducted independently of the College Senate and the administration, and we thank the IIAC members who have written and compiled the report. We applaud this work and look forward to ongoing close collaboration among the IIAC, the College Senate, and the college administration.    

Initial findings from the Campus Culture and Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey will be shared with the College Senate on Friday, November 13. A full copy of the IIAC’s findings will be shared with the campus community via the Daily Bulletin on Monday, November 16. In the weeks and months that follow, the IIAC’s research team will host a series of open forums and focus groups for the campus community to help interpret and build on the findings, starting with open forums on Thursday, November 19, and Friday, November 20.

Moreover, focus groups will be held through January 2021 to gather additional ideas and input from the campus community to inform the next strategic plan. More specifically, the IIAC is interested in connecting with faculty and staff members to learn more about the many ways our work environment and culture have shifted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, the survey data were gathered in the weeks before COVID-19 transformed our campus, country, and world.

Please visit the Workshop Registration System to register for an open forum or a focus group. Additional focus groups will be scheduled in the coming weeks. We encourage our entire campus community to engage in the dialogue during this critical process.

These forums and focus groups are critical for identifying how we can be more intentionally innovative and agile to meet the challenges of the future. As the uncertainty of our world and of higher education has been further heightened because of COVID-19, our urban-engaged campus has an opportunity to amplify our communities’ strengths with new and innovative practices. These changes and improvements will help Buffalo State continue to serve as an educational engine for social and economic mobility that is responsive to these new realities.

These data will help provide insight to better understand the complexity of perspectives, priorities, strengths, and challenges of our community. How we engage with each other—both in interpreting this information and prioritizing strategies to help us thrive in the future—will determine the success of this important process.

The answers to creating a bright future for Buffalo State College and our students can be found within our amazing community. Together, we can amplify our strengths and learn what we must change to address our challenges. We encourage you to engage and contribute your ideas for charting the future of Buffalo State College as we learn and grow together to transform the future of our urban-engaged mission.


Katherine Conway-Turner

Bhakti Sharma
Chair, College Senate
Associate Professor, Art and Design

Jonathan Hulbert
Chair, Institutional Innovation Advisory Council
Director, Leadership and Organizational Development