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Chico State Employees Convene For Forum On Campus Climate Survey Results

Marc Albert

Faculty, staff and a sprinkling of administrators and students packed a large hall on the Chico State campus Thursday afternoon as damning results from a university-wide survey continue reverberating.

The survey found widespread dissatisfaction about decision-making, support for research and salaries. Wide majorities of faculty and staff said their recommendations were often ignored or overruled. Several survey respondents said burdensome fees have forced clubs and events off campus or into oblivion.

The campus-climate survey was conducted earlier this year. The results were released this week. The apparent dissension at Chico isn’t going unnoticed. CSU Chancellor Timothy White dispatched the Vice President of Human Resources for the 23-campus system, Lori Lamb, and another staffer to listen and observe. Both declined comment.

Steve Filling, chair of the statewide Academic Senate, a consultative body for the CSU system said if participation in the survey and attendance at the meeting was any indication, the issues at Chico are real and substantive.

“It’s not just the faculty, it’s not just the staff, or just some of the complainers, it's a wide swath across the campus,” Filling said. “The fact that they can get 55 percent of the population here to fill out a survey that takes 30 minutes says, there’s some serious issues.”

Filling said similar issues occurred at CSU Stanislaus that were only resolved after the university’s president was replaced.

Despite heated rhetoric in some of the survey responses, the open forum on its results was civil and largely subdued. The well over 200 attendees broke into small groups to further discuss the results and plan next steps.