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Chico State Employee Survey Indicates Low Morale, Dissatisfaction With Administration

Flickr, Creative Commons

Results of a university-wide survey show severe morale problems and widespread distrust of administrators at Chico State.

A third of faculty, staff and administrators who responded said they were somewhat or very likely to take a job elsewhere within three years. 

Many identified low salaries, a toxic environment and senior administration as motivating them to depart. Only 9 percent of faculty said Chico State offers competitive salaries.

That may be more than carping. A report delivered to the University’s Academic Senate last fall showed that 264 tenure-track faculty quit during the prior five years. Top posts haven’t been immune from turnover. The campus has had four provosts in three years.

A total of 55 percent of faculty, staff and administrators completed the survey.

University Spokesman Joe Wills said the survey will spark discussions at the highest level and warrants further study and analysis. Wills, however, said questions seeking a written answer may have solicited undue negativity.

“Qualitative data, answers to open-ended questions in anonymous surveys tend to be more negative than some of the quantitative data and I think this survey does bear that out,” Wills said.

There were bright spots in the survey. Overall, employees see job security and fringe benefits as pluses. They also are generally pleased with their colleagues, immediate supervisors and decision-making at lower echelons.

Respondents repeatedly described the administration as out of touch. One respondent wrote, “The administration has done an excellent job in alienating high quality faculty and staff, as many talented people have left the university simply because they were not provided the appropriate level of respect or the resources required to be successful.”

The Academic Senate is hosting a campus-wide open forum Thursday to discuss issues raised by the survey. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:30 in Colusa Hall Room 100.

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