3/31/2012: We hear rumors of high rates of staff turnover in the Registrar’s office, to the effect that apparently 11 classified staff have left over the past year. Comments welcome.
Turnover in the registrar’s office?
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A hard task in that office with the huge enrollment increases, coupled with inadequate planning for space needs by the University. The usual sloppy work so much in evidence in many places at UO won’t cut it — the job has to get done in difficult circumstances. (And I have to say, does, in my experience.) Whether the union members are refractory, or the leadership is being unreasonable in an impossible situation, I have no way of knowing, but there seems to be tension there, from what I hear.
A much more rigid, “my way or the highway” culture than in times past. People are choosing the highway.
The internal atmosphere of the Registrar’s Office is marked by extreme micro-management, mistreatment, and a dictatorial leadership so intent on personal accolades – they are achieved at the expense of their workers at any cost. Violent and derogatory speech is common, statistics are more important than people, and staff function in fear. Much of the good work done was through the hard work of those now gone – who could no longer take being torn down on a daily basis.
I’ve nothing but praise for the Registrar and the office. From grade processing to student evaluations to registration to degree audits to the new IntroDUCKtion links, along with many, many other recent electronic improvements that have filled countless voids seamlessly and without fanfare, the office’s efforts to serve its constituencies — students and faculty — have continually improved under Sue Eveland’s leadership.
Exactly the point! What about their own staff? When great things are achieved externally, no one cares to move back the curtain to see how and at what cost. Do you think one person could do this alone? Praise achieved – now what?
Sorry — I’ll rephrase:
I’ve nothing but praise for the Registrar and the staff. From grade processing to student evaluations to registration to degree audits to the new IntroDUCKtion links, along with many, many other recent electronic improvements that have filled countless voids seamlessly and without fanfare, the staff’s efforts to serve its constituencies — students and faculty — have continually improved under Sue Eveland’s leadership.
And under the same leadership a high-ranking administrator within the office has told several staff that he wishes he could punch their female supervisor in the face. Speaking to and about staff in this manner is unprofessional and unacceptable. This is just one of many instances of inappropriate behavior within the upper levels there.
Amongst the Classified Staff, we know the Registrar’s Office is a crazy place to work. CRAZY!!
The people in that office get things done though – they are always very helpful with advising issues.
That is what is so messed up over there. The staff there are incredibly decent and helpful folks, stoic, and you’d never guess there was so much turmoil and mistreatment going on. While we have been getting help with advising issues, all along behind the scenes there is some incredibly disgraceful behavior going on.
Besides the violent and inappropriate comments staff have been subjected to, I understand that last year every male administrator there got a raise and not a single female administrator did. The UO Registrar’s is also a great example of management bloat. In the past five years alone there has been a 34% increase in management positions, and zero percent increase in classified staff positions. It makes no sense in the face of skyrocketing enrollment, not to increase frontline positions–the people who answer phones, process requests to add and drop majors, articulate transfer work, etc. There is now reportedly a backlog of 1,000 transfer transcripts waiting to be articulated. It’s gotten so bad over there that all the managers have had to answer the main phone line because there aren’t enough experienced and trained classified staff to do it. Leadership’s answer? Yet another administrative position has been created, and the equivalent of one full time classified staff position has been eliminated.
The Classified Staff are great!! They know their stuff. Managment is CRAZY!!
I wonder how new proposed UO Senate legislation will affect the Registar’s Office: http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/legislation-establish-procedure-periodic-evaluation-universitys-top-administrators
Good question. It would be a good start, but there has been a formal investigation before. The outcome? A letter to staff saying administration had full confidence in the leadership of the office.
Treatment of staff has only gotten worse since then. The administration should have listened to their people in the first place. Now it’s a huge mess. A mess that’s costing the University lots of money in overtime and productivity lost. Money spent paying manager salaries to answer phones, and wasting time dealing with re-hiring and training that takes time away from everything else.
Also, staff are so scared of retribution and a pattern of firing and reprimands, it’s difficult to say if they would even be willing to speak out.
Sounds like ORSA all over again. Maybe another opportunity for Huron?
I’ll tell you, sometimes some yelling would be a lot better than the passive-aggressive crap that substitutes for it when there is conflict. This seems to be a cultural trait of the state of Oregon, and the University too. I say this even while being aware of seemingly non-passive-aggressive stuff that goes on especially on the left — Occupy, etc.
So there are two possible choices in the face of conflict: passive aggressive behavior or yelling? Hopefully you do not supervise anyone. If you do, Human Resources offers a number of workshops that could introduce you to some leadership skills including conflict management and emotional intelligence.
If you are finding that the University and the entire state of Oregon are passive aggressive, why stay here? Why not find some other university in some other state where you can scream at people? Heck, bet you can find other people who actually appreciate and admire leaders who resort to yelling at their staff. There’s a word for this kind of leadership, but it’s not coming to me right now…
Like! I was told once, maybe twice, well, maybe, I can’t remember how many times. If you don’t like it, get another job.
Perhaps the mid-west is calling you home: http://chronicle.com/jobs/0000719266-01
More typical Oregon behavior — “if you don’t like it here, then get your butt out.” Hell no, I won’t leave just because a few people are whining about the registrar’s office — with which I have no connection (except they serve me well when I need their services.) [Try pulling the line “If you don’t like it, get another job” on the union, any of them, by the way.] And no, Iowa State Registrar is not my former job. And no, PA and yelling are not the only alternatives — but alleged yelling in the registrar’s office — by whom is not clear — seems to be the topic. And the Oregon passive-aggressive routine is real, hard to avoid. For my money, yelling it out is better, if it comes down to it.
There are clearly several voices in the comments. Perhaps not all comments are directed to the same person. One thing is clear – there is a lot of tension here. There are obviously some significant issues that should be further addressed by higher level administration.
My main concern at this moment? Students. I hear the backlog has increased from 1,000 to 1,900 tasks. How will advisors adequately serve students at upcoming IntroDucktion sessions when transfer work is not processed. If we want students served – this needs to be resolved. Yelling doesn’t seem to be resolving anything.
In tough times, some leaders offer inspiring words and incentives such as merit increases. In the University of Oregon Registrar’s office, only administrators get the raises, some up to 20% on top of a six-figure salary. Never the workers, though. As for inspiring words? One high up administrator was heard telling one of his own staff members, “How can you try to support a family on a student records specialist salary, and call yourself a man?” Not a mystery, why so many staff are fleeing that place.
That sounds a bit like sexual harassment, even if it’s sexual harassment of an unusual nature.