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CAS Dean Poulsen takes bold, decisive action to rebrand Diversity Action Plans as Climate Action Plans

Johnson Hall pissed $350K away on the climate survey. Now, a full year after they got the results, they’re passing the buck for their failed management down to the deans, who are going to … yes, we all know the drill:

Dear colleagues, 

I am writing to update you on CAS’s actions for engaging with the UO Climate Survey.  As you know, to help build a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, the university partnered with Gallup to conduct a workplace climate survey in Spring 2022. The goals of the survey are to identify structural, cultural, and institutional factors that affect campus climate and to use the survey results to improve the climate through targeted action plans. That work is underway at university, college, and department levels.  

In CAS, a Climate Survey Engagement Team was appointed in February to lead the college-level assessment of results and create recommendations. That team of faculty, staff, and graduate students has started their work and will recommend in a report to me actions that can be taken by the college to improve our climate. I anticipate sharing their report towards the end of spring term. 

HOW WILL DEPARTMENTS USE SURVEY DATA? The CAS climate survey results are meant to serve as a starting point for faculty and staff to discuss their unit’s climate, asking, in a nutshell: what’s working, what’s not working, and what can we do about it? While the survey data are informative, they represent a snapshot in time, and they don’t provide context. We hope that department-level discussions will add context that illuminates the survey responses and lead to actionable plans that (in combination with university and college actions) increase our sense of community and work satisfaction.  

WHAT IS THE TIMING? Last month, the CAS-specific results of the climate survey were shared with departmental heads, and they formulated plans to discuss the survey results in their units with all of you in the coming weeks.  We expect departmental conversations about the survey results and planning for department actions to begin now and continue through May. We are asking each department to submit their preliminary action plans by late May. As mentioned earlier, we also expect to receive recommendations from the CAS Climate Survey Engagement Team in late April and my office will provide a status report outlining plans in the college and departments to the Office of the Provost in late May. The bulk of the work to carry out action plans across CAS will occur in the 2023-2024 academic year.  

I want to thank you in advance for your engagement in this process. Conversations about our climate can be enlightening and they also may be uncomfortable.  Yet making sure we talk about ways we can improve our climate is crucial to understanding how best to support all CAS community members.  

With appreciation, 


Chris J. Poulsen

Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Earth Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences | University of Oregon

1030 E. 13th Avenue | Eugene, OR | 97403

Pronouns: he/his​_______________________________________________
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[email protected]


  1. honest Uncle Bernie 04/06/2023

    Very bizarre stuff. I don’t claim to understand it. But I can ask, how it is working? Not very well, I would say.

  2. honest Uncle Gangsta 04/07/2023

    does Climate Action Plan mean only electric vehicles allowed in UOparking??? Then, an abundance of space!

  3. Pear 04/10/2023

    We’ll probably need more administrators to track some opaque metrics. Social credit scores or something similar.

  4. thedude 04/10/2023

    Every admin (including dean poulson) just got basically got promoted to their current job with a huge raise, and then they are surprised that the only climate issue that matters is pay and our salary cuts over the last 3 years).

    • Laying Low 04/11/2023

      Every time I hear the word “climate” I know that someone is taking my money.

    • Ass Prof 04/11/2023

      The real The Dude never complained about his salary. Time for a new handle more appropriate, like The Man.

      • thedude 04/12/2023

        the dude abided in a low inflation rate regime.

  5. Observer 04/12/2023

    In the meeting I was in, the deans asked everyone for plans to reduce faculty low morale and stress. Someone spoke up and said, “The first way to reduce the stress is for us all not to have to formulate plans like this one and write a bunch of reports on them.” Then everyone piled on with vehement agreement. It sorta ended in a stalemate.

  6. Cynic 04/15/2023

    yes, a well established pattern. A coalition of faculty/students coalesce around one issue or another, making it costly for the administrators unless they acquiesce, and then the administrators give in by promising an initiative requiring plans, reports, etc. by the time faculty are brought in, resistance is futile.

    • uomatters Post author | 04/15/2023

      It’s the circle of life. Or perhaps the circus of life.

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